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Friday, November 30, 2012

UFO Religion !

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We the human beings are physically one of the weakest life forms ever walked on this planet. However by understanding and adjusting to external situations, we learnt to adapt and survive under most of the circumstances. No matter how trivial this fact might appear, but we always tend to forget this trivia in order to reassure the prowess of our 0.5 kg grey matters sitting right on top of all of us. We all want to identify the purpose of our lives, the sole purpose for which the matter of this planet is transferred from elements to us.


Let me share with you one true, historically important story, which I just made up ! Hundreds, perhaps thousands of years ago, One fine day, a wise man sitting alone, idle (yes, that's what wise man have been doing ever since!) near a lake, saw something in the sky. It was windy that day and some swirling dust particles floating in the distance took some mesmerizing form. With moon in the background and ever twinkling stars added hallucinating aura to the whole scene. A thunder bolt, a streak of lightning pierced the sky and the 1000s of bulbs lit-up. The wise was hit upon by a marvelous business plan of all time. Rest we know is history. Yes, you got it right. That was the day, wise man discovered God !

Somewhere else, on some other part of the planet, few hundreds and thousands of years later, Deja-Vu. By now, the wise-men has created and accumulated enough wealth, health and prosperity for himself and his entire clan. So he no-longer was interested in wandering outdoors in harsh environment. So this time, a common man with mango face was sitting near the lake, wondering about purpose of his life ! The common man has learnt from the wise men that God has created everything and though he resides in everybody's heart, its imperative for the common man, to regularly pay some fee as token of appreciation to wise men, so that wise men can connect the mango faced men with the God. So, after witnessing the scene almost similar to what wise men saw thousands of years ago, the common man, logically concluded that whatever he saw, experienced and perceived cant be God. So he coined a new acronym for that as  Universally Foolable Objects, UFOs, the flying saucer.

Lets do some math. Everyday lighting strikes close to 100000 times, somewhere and everyday some kind of cyclone or hurricane or whirlpool appears in another 96378 locations, according to some leaked calculations from extremely reliable sources. So all in all if we add just these 2 events, 196378 life threatening things are happening all around us.Multiply this number by 365 and then multiply this by 5 billion, so close to 30000 trillion life threatening events have taken place on our plant, ever since the big bang. Scary, isn't it! Of-course we can relate to only few hundreds of such artificial incidences happening everyday around us. So to cut the long story short, the probability that you are reading this blog is less then 1 / (Zillion Zillion), and yet you are !

So, now I hope you can calculate the the probability of what happened to our us and our planet, something similar will/might happen to some other planet, at some place far away from us in the same sequence ! 

Whatever non-sense I have jotted out so far, you might be wonder what is this post all about ?

So as some legends might put it, lets try to connect the .......(dots) ! We know that its highly improbable that life exist in similar shape and size as it is on earth, anywhere else in the universe, yet we want to believe in UFOs sometimes also referred as God. We know that if we were not as lucky as we are, we would not have been where we are and still we don't want to believe in our luck and instead happily, readily give credit to the wise men and his creation, the God. Perhaps some unlucky mango person, in order to get lucky created the first recorded, publicly available proof of the UFOs.

Everything written about God became religion. Each and every religious story, commandments, rules or regulations were written by some lucky individuals like us, who happened to be born few thousand years before us. Perhaps they wrote all those sacred texts out of innocence, guided by their personal encounters, perceptions with the Nature, the UFOs and the people (I hope we can call aliens as people !) sitting in or on those UFOs. I am sure even those lucky people would have never imagined, that we will stick to their stories so ardently, with zeal and passion so much that we will make their stories ours, we will live our life as per their beliefs, so as to make everyone around us happy, perhaps except us !

Some of us might argue that UFOs and the entire Science is nothing but act of God while some other might say that discovery of God is a simple case of mistaken identity because God is actually the first alien ever visited us on his (or her?) UFO !


Life possibly exists in different shapes and sizes within our solar system and if we are to believe the man in Black, they are out there, in our neighbourhood, living peacefully. A planet full of aliens all whom visited our planet at different points in time in past 4.5 Billion years, might be thriving right on our planet in a parallel universe. Each of their visits might have given rise to a specific event, which was decoded either by part of science, religion or fiction !

So where is this post heading now. Simple linear deductions, yeah that's it. To summarize we are just made of all those tiny, non brainy things ! Our planet is an insanely lucky planet to have survived so far. Thanks to this intra-celestial conspiracy, we the mortal human beings today are busy shopping, posting pictures taken through iPhone sharing instantly on Facebook. While most of us are still busy perpetuating our perception of what is written in those sacred texts.

Imagine this. Out of trillions of accidents happened to our planet, just change one and The Purpose of Life, The God and even my entire Blog Post will no longer be relevant !  

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Million ways to Happiness, Life and Death !

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My recent trip to Borders and Virgin Book Store revealed something startling, fascinating and amusing to certain extent. I came across a set of confident looking, smartly pictured Life and career Coaches who were inviting me in the Book shelf to discuss the matters most close to my heart, my fears, my worries and concerns. Most of them claimed to have solution to all my problems, which could be solved in few minutes or days. That's what I have been searching for all these years. In fact I created few additional and peculiar problems, so that I can Stumble upon some non-conventional paths to wisdom and perpetual happiness. This is what I craved for all those years and so here they were in my face, with an awesome money back guarantee.

Back in front of my personal computer, aka Laptop, I smartly searched for 'How to Live Happily' and in a fraction of second (0.27 seconds to be precise), I found 48.6 million pieces of advice in the form of text, videos, vivid images, powerful, earth moving presentations. My secret wanderlust desires prompted me to excavate more truths to Nirvana from my comfortable desk using my Quad-core ( has four time musing capabilities !) machine. So within few seconds of finding a million ways to happiness and life, I embarked upon the journey to the other pole. Backed my binary logical upbringing and limited imagination, I promptly searched for 'How to Die Happily'. This time it took a tad longer, about 0.32 seconds, but EUreKa, I found 1.76 Billion ways !

After this discovery, my wanderlust desires made me travel back in time...err place ! And I was taken for a surprise once again. I couldn't fine a single book which can tell me how to achieve a happy death. So does it mean that more people in the virtual, Online world are keen to explore the path to happy death and much less in the real world ?  Is it one thing to Live Happily and Another to Die ? Why not many books have been written about perfect Death ! Is it possible to live a happy life and die unhappily ? Is it possible to live a not so perfect life yet die perfectly ?

No matter how much we try to sort things out,we always land up in a trouble !  No matter how many books we read, understand and appreciate, we are still not sure which one is perfect or to close to it, for us. Sometimes we know it, but we don't want to pursue, what we preach or read. Perhaps the search itself is futile ! A million ways have been discovered towards happiness, life and death and many more are still waiting to be discovered !

We all at some point in time Knows, what is right and what is not. We know, at least to certain extent, what can make us happy. We have all these wonderfully smart books, blogs, e-papers and what not at our disposal to 'Know' the ultimate truth, literally at the blink of eye. 'Knowing' isn't everything. 'Knowing' alone cant bring the change we all have been craving for eons. However 'Knowing' is right beginning in the right direction.We need to take small step from Knowing to Doing towards Happy Life and perhaps Death !



Friday, June 08, 2012

Food for Healthy Body, Mind and Thoughts too !

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Blame it to recent several trips to doctor for me, my wife or the kid, we the family purchased, stored and consumed several medicines of late. So I decided to take a break from the medicines and instead have been trying hard to live a healthy life for a change. My discoveries of my own lifestyle surprises me that all these technological advances in all walks of life have taken us away from where we belonged originally and ultimately. We have to intentionally try, that too hard with great grit and determination to stay healthy.

They say- Health is Wealth ! When I asked for whom  they never responded back. I think either this phrase was first coined by somebody in the business of Medicine, Sports or Entertainment. For rest of us, Health is much more then wealth, infact I think good/ great Health is everything. Its much more then just piece of mind, emotions

Some of us luckily are genetically engineered to easily combat disease and other forms of attack from any foreign organisms. Such people rarely get sick in their entire lifetime. Definitely I am not one of them. Then there are some anti-Healthy people on the other end of the spectrum. They appear healthy but actually are not. They consume enormous amount of medicine on daily basis for most part of their lives. Consuming pills, powders and injections, weekly/monthly visits to Doctors become a way of life for them. Coincidentally I am not one of them either and if you happen to fall in this category, don't blame yourself, trust me its a sheer coincidence. Our body is such a complicated machine that with all our technological advances for Thousands of years, still we are learning about it. Any small, seemingly innocent event happened with you before you were born (but were a part of this world) or in the first few years of your upbringing can insanely affect your hormones, and so rest of the life.

Perhaps we cant control such unforeseen events, but for a major part of our lives, we have full control over health.We can decide what to eat, where to sleep, what to drink and what not to smoke. We should not feel jealous by seeing some of our friends insanely healthy friends who can drink barrels of alcohol, hog on to big cheese burger and finger chips everyday, without ever going to the doctors. 

Below are some of the commonly available Vegetarian items available almost everywhere across the globe, which if we eat on regular basis can not only boost our immune system, but will save us from many dangerous diseases, lights up the head and body and so helps in keeping the stress, blood pressure and hence our emotions and reactions controlled, uncluttered. Technically speaking the below widely known food items are rich in unsaturated/ mono-saturated fats, fibers, proteins, water and omega 3 which can reduce LDL (bad) and increase HDL (good) cholesterol. Usually all the fruits and vegetables also contain carbohydrates sufficient for our daily requirement. But our 


1. Water - in a previous post, we discussed the amazing benefits of drinking plenty of water in different forms and colors possible. Irrespective of the age, Food affinities and phases in our lives, we should not forget drinking 2-3 Liters of water everyday.

2. Fresh Fruits- go for fresh fruits such Apple ( to keep the doc away), Berries, Orange, Avocado. Berries are expensive and not easily available in small towns of India, so instead go for Lemons, Oranges, Pomegranates and Grapes. All these fruits are a great stress busters, rich in Vitamins and importantly Minerals and Fiber. Go for packaged juices and frozen fruits, only if you cant access those raw fruits easily, otherwise no matter what the companies propagate about their packaged/ frozen products, go for fresh fruits.

3. Legumes - several types of beans are easily available at a low cost in India and throughout the world.  Red, Black, Green lentils are anyways commonly consumed all over India, however the trick is not to overcook or over fry to preserve the vitamins and nutrients present in lentils. Legumes are rich in Protein and can possibly prevent cancer. Beans and Lentils must also be consumed after sprouting them up at least once in 2-3 days. Sprouting increases the fiber content and develops some enzymes which helps in detoxification of the body. For best results, consume sprouts raw. Boiling, cooking significantly reduces the nutritional content of sprouts. Consuming raw sprouts also increases the pH thus reducing acidity of the body.So without doubt, go for sprouts !

4. Nuts - nuts are usually high in calorie, so should be consumed with precaution. Fast food culture has popularized consumption of roasted, deep fried, flavored nuts, which actually is a double whammy. While some Nuts are expensive such as Cashew and Pistachio, but some are not so expensive such as Peanut, Almond, Coconut. Its good to add some seeds such as Pumpkin, Flax or Sunflower seeds along with nuts. Once again its recommended to consume nuts in raw form or mildly roasted, but in moderation. But the moot point is not to ignore Nuts altogether. For Vegetarians these Nuts are important source of Omega 3, Oleic acids which helps in reduction of cholesterol, improves blood flow and skin texture.

5. Green vegetables - Needless to say, Vegetarians must eat lot of vegetables :) ! At the cost of being repetitive, once again I would say that deep fried, over cooked, over boiled, salt and oil laden vegetables as are usually popular in Northern India are no good. Vegetables are the most cost effective source of Vitamin A, B, K, minerals such as Iron, Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorous and of course Fiber. Co-incidentally Non-vegetarians eat lot of raw, unprocessed green vegetables with their non-veg food items, however we the veggies love them deep, dark, stir fried. Thanks to the heavy usage of Turmeric, Cloves, Cinnamon , Pepper and several herbs in our daily food, we still manage to get some nutritional value out of that Dal Tadka and Shahi Paneer .  

6. Grass- the power of Sun. Yes you read it correctly, I said Grass. Wheat Grass, Aloe Vera, Dog Grass, Barley Grass, Spirulina are some of the most amazing source of all the Vitamins and Minerals. Just consume any of these few grams in a day and stay healthy.  Need not buy those expensive tablets or designer packets, instead go for raw or in powder form from any reliable local supplier. Back to basics guys, that's where the age old wisdom lies. All these chlorophyll rich green stuff is highly alkalizing as well. We can hope to get relief from internal inflammations, aches and acidity to certain extent. So now we know why Cows don't burp, or do they ?


Some trivia for fun - An average Male needs 1800-2100 Calories per day and average Female need 1600-1900 Calories per day. 1 Can (330 ml) of carbonated beverage contains 140 calories and 1 portion of French Fries (170 gms) contain 500-600 calories, 1 Can of Beer (330 ml) contains between 100-150 calories depending on brand and % of alcohol, 1 Burger contains 300-500 calories, 1 serving of ice cream (150 gms) usually contains 150-500 calories. Interesting point is all these items contain almost zero Proteins, dietary fiber, Vitamins but are loaded with LDL (bad cholesterol).

Sometimes I tend to believe we become What We Eat ! So, what are you eating this week ?


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Disclaimer - these are general guidelines based on my experience, analysis and research. Please do your own research and consult your medical advisor to customize your diet based on your body and specific needs.

Image Source - Google.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Waiting for Tomorrow !!

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The humble Sun is all set,
And the nasty Moon rises.
Stars and cloud
Are slowly filling the
Empty black skies.
Satiated Vultures have
Long fallen asleep.
But the groping bats are
Still staring deep.

My loyal dog,
Has decided
Not to bark tonight.
And the ravenous hyenas
Have surmised,
To have mercy
On my plight.
All this while,
The politic owl
Has been waiting
Anxiously
For the sacrimony
To begin !

No longer can I contain
My anger, disdain.
So, I close my eyes
As the Sun rise.
Sometimes I attempt
To recollect, regain
About yesterday
But its all futile, in-vain.

And then, I succumb
Yet again.
To my paralyzed life.
Slowly, falling deep asleep.
Waiting for a better tomorrow
All over again !


Friday, May 18, 2012

Jugaad Inc. !!

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Hai kya koi Jugaad ?

Arrey yaar tum to bade jugaadu nikaley !

Are daro mat, mere pass bahut jugaad hai !!


Jugaad is everywhere, on Wikis, Harvard Business, Wall Street Journals and ofcourse in the hearts and souls of every Indian. What exactly is Jugaad - a solution to overcome a problem, somehow, anyhow, in the fastest possible manner, by spending least amount of time and energy ! Sounds some heavenly insane stuff, isn't it !

Is Jugaad our biggest asset or the liability ? Have we reached so far because of jugaad or we havent reached where could have because of jugaad. Is jugaad a solution or a full blown problem in itself...

The Birth of Jugaad -due to lack of time or resources or both or due to lack of understanding of the situation at hand, sometimes due to simple arrogance and sometimes out of innocence We the Indians have developed the concept of Jugad (ad-hoc arrangement). We dont want to face the problems today or at least now or we don't want to think about the solution because it might be too expensive today or we might have to work bit hard to resolve the real issue, so in order to save time, money, energy, resources 'today' we think of Jugaad.

The Jugaad usually delivers immediate results, makes the person who carried out the Jugaad a real cool dood in front of his rest of the fellow men, everybody appreciates him/her for presence of mind and for solving the problem instantly without much kharcha (expenditure)  and sardard (headache i.e. hardwork). Slowly the Jugaadu ( the ad-hoc problem solver) becomes the talk of the town and every kid in the town, wants to be like him.

Over a period of time, several centers of Jugaad crops up in every town. Sadhu-baba (holy man) becomes the main Jugaad (back door entry in this case) to the highest court of law. A seemingly innocent Panwala, Chaiwala, popular Bhaiya ji, a not so popular defeated politician, bus-conductor a TC/TT in the great Indian train becomes synonymous to Jugaad. From your first to last ritual the Pandits will recommend some jugaad for everything depending on your convenience and budget. Likewise from getting a birth certificate to import machinery without paying duties, the Babus are well verse of the jugaad to get things done. Looking at the current heads (2 Ps) of our democratically elected government, one can realize how high one can reach with Jugaad and bit of luck, even sky is within reach !

Foreign media, several renown business journals etc have openly endorsed the great India Jugaad. No matter what the government in the center wants us to believe, but the facts are we are world's largest democracy but we are not most successful one, we may become top 3 economy by 2025, but I dont think even by 2100 (yes, you read is correctly, 88 years from hence) we will be in top 30 nations in the world on the basis of Per capita GDP. We tend to believe that we are super kool in mathematics, accounting and economics but our koolness is mostly confined to calculating aXb or tallying the accounts the fastest, unfortunately not much beyond that. We are no doubt one of the most hardworking people in the world, but certainly not the most creative of the lot. We are great at cooking the books of a company to raise money form the market but we are yet to create companies which can change the rules of the market. 

Lets talk about world's most innovative companies, most rapidly growing companies, most respected universities in the field of arts, science, technology or business and we are almost sure of not finding any Indian entity. The reason is simple, we are still searching for the appropriate Jugaaad to make it and to break it into the league :) !

If not for the business Jugaad of Outsourcing, how else could American and European corporations would have made so much more money despite recession ! The value proposition in this Outsourcing jugaad is so much that it managed to survive 2 decades, thankfully.

I tend to believe that God has not created this Earth and its all some great cosmological accident, a.k.a the Big Bang after which it all began. But then I wonder if not for God, how else this massive, beautiful country of ours has survived all these years. Now that's what I call the ultimate Jugaad, Bhagwaan Bharose !!

Bhaktjan - Hey Prabhu is baar kuch jugaad lagwa de, agli baar se dhyaan rakhoonga !

Bhagwan - Oh no, Not Again !!


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Water - the Ultimate Elixir of Life

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Billions of years ago life as we know it today, began its journey in the rarest compound of this universe thankfully found in abundance in our planet. What began as a single cellular, simple life form, has evolved into  the most complex piece of machinery and art, we call it the human body.  As we all know it, 80% of the body is made of the transparent, odorless, neutral fluid from where the life evolved, i.e. Water ! The more the complex the machinery, the more the complex will be its maintenance and slowly we transformed from living a nomadic life to a civilized full blown city life, with added complications almost every decade, the wear and tears became complex and the breakdown (partial or total) frequency increased exponentially. Though the human body including brain has stopped evolving for more than 10000 years now, but everything else created by we the humans evolved phenomenally during this period.

Pharmaceutical industry is valued at close to $700 Billion per year. The premise of the industry lies in investing in R&D and filing patents for theydrugs discovered, invented in the process. No doubt, the industry has saved several lives in past 100 years. And in lieu, it has made enormous money for its shareholders and owners. Somehow, the modern pharamceutical/ medicine industry has not invested much time and resources to discover the potential benefits of omnipresent Water. The reason is simple, it cant be patented, its comparatively much easily available and most importantly it belongs to the state and the people to a very large extent. 

Thanks to our 21st century increasingly sedentary life style, our body is under attack of toxins, harmful chemicals, pollution, free radicals and saturated fats. The traditional pharmaceutical and not so traditional wellness companies knows it. The highest selling Drug in the world is Lipitor used for treatment of Cholesterol, with annual sales of $14B. Other popular drugs are for treating Hypertension, Gastro-Intestinal disorders, Headaches, Fever, Migraine, Hypertension etc. Source (Wikipedia)

Water the forgotten Elixir of Life, the ultimate panacea, can solve most of the problems almost at zero cost ! Sounds too trivial to be true ! Perhaps we are getting used to complex lifestyle and solutions for problems which can be solved easily otherwise !

Coincidentally I tried water treatment for headaches and mild fevers caused by heat strokes, excessive stress, excessive physical activity etc and it worked. Somehow I tend to catch cold easily then most of the people around me, sometimes due to allergy and sometimes due to unknown, unidentifiable reasons. In recent past, I started drinking warm water 3-4 times a day, whenever I encountered a sneeze attack and so far I have been reasonably successful in combating the sneeze force ! I have experienced that sore throats, congested nose and cough can be easily tackled by gargling with hot water and salt. 

Drinking enough Water is the most simple solution to treat high blood pressure and lower cholesterol to a great extent. This website is a great resource to find out what all can be treated by simply drinking water. Water not only helps in hydrating our body, but it helps in flushing the harmful toxins out of the body, eases transportation of vitamins and minerals. So the women and all those beauty conscious men will be glad to know that drinking water can reduce acne, improves texture of the skin and provides a overall state of well being and alertness in the body. One glass of warm water with half lime/lemon early in the morning can do wonders to anybody of any age, shape or size.

As per this research medically supervised water only fasting treats Hypertension and lower blood pressure. Without doubt, water is THE solution to treat constipation and dehydration which in turn can cause headaches and several other unwarranted diseases.

This blog has several simple suggestions about the benefits of water. I was surprised to know that by increasing the water intake, even Depression can be cured much more easily.

A very simple variant of water which can help fight several diseases easily and effectively is Alkaline Water. The normal water we drink is usually neutral and its very easy to make it slightly Alkaline. Most of the food we eat is Acidic in nature and hence disturbs the pH of the body, which in turn has several repercussions such as inflammation, heart burns, gastric problems, liver and kidney related disorders. I found this website an excellent source of information on Alkaline water and the overall Alkaline way of life.  

Ayurveda has always put a great emphasis on the role of water. Water is one of the Five main elements. Drinking water stored in Cooper vessels improves the immunity of the body. Ayurveda recommends not to drink too of much water during or immediately after the meals. Chilled water, soda water or cold drinks consumed along with food can negatively affect the digestion process ultimately leading to weight gain, increase in cholesterol levels. As per Ayurveda and ancient Japanese, Chinese medicines, drinking luke warm water after food, enhances the digestion process and body is easily able to retain the vitamins and minerals from the food. I was never a fridge water drinker. I just love the smell of water stored in the earthen pot, Mataki as we call it. The water stored in Mataki not only tastes great, but quenches the thirst more effectively without any side effects.  

As we wake up every morning, the world becomes more complex then it was yesterday. However the solution to all the problems need not be complex as we usually tend to believe or are made to believe. Drinking Water can not only improve our health, but emotions and psychology to a great extent in a positive manner.

If you do your own research and small experiments, I'm sure you will discover several benefits of drinking water in various forms. Do share your Water Experiences...

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Disclaimer - I am not a medical expert and the views expressed are based on my personal experiences, discussions with some doctors and internet research. I have tried to provide url of the websites which I found were providing balanced views, without any hidden agenda. I am not associated with any/all of these websites and in no ways responsible for the views and suggestions provided on these external websites/ blogs.

Image Source - Mouserunner, Photovaco

Friday, May 11, 2012

Slog Addicted !

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Working hard is the simplest solution to achieve our goals and dreams. Though it is not the simplest thing to do !

The day we enter school, we are told to work hard. And so we do as we are told, not because we like doing all those things but perhaps because that's what people around us value and appreciate. We dont give up not because we don't want to, but because that's what They want us to do all our lives ! Slowly 

Some really far sighted, bright and intelligent person has once said - results dont matter, just keep trying ! And so in our hope against hope we keep trying so hard that we even forget what we wanted to achieve in the first place. In order to get there first, we run hard with our heads bent down, facing the ground. And so unconsciously we completely loose sight of the ultimate goal worth living and dying for. We get so engrossed in daily chores that we tend to make them our goal, e.g. servicing of the vehicle, working overtime so as to buy the latest gadget, saving today so as to own an apartment tomorrow, buying deeply discounted deals online etc.

Slowly as strive to prove ourselves to rest of us, we slog even harder, at least harder then our nearest neighbor and closet kin. In the process we loose precious time and limited energy, completely forgetting to look at goals, dreams and life beyond hard work. We put more efforts, pump iron, sweat blood, toil relentlessly and think rarely. Steadily we keep drifting away from our path, path to happiness, which can not only help us to fulfill our necessities but also can lead us to what we are really worthy of, what we sometimes secretly hoped for but never imagined.

Reckless slogging makes us selfish and that's what happened to India of today. Whatever growth we have achieved from 1990s to till date according to me should be attributed to this unique quality of we the mango men and women. We kept out heads down, toiled hard for decades to reach a level where we are today. A lot of we the hardworking, slogging Indians have managed to cross the income line, but in the process we became increasingly indifferent and detached from each other. We incessantly slogged day and night to maximize the pleasure and protect the interest of our 'immediate family', leaving us with no time to think cohesively as a society or a country.

While transitioning from hard working to slogging, we tend to loose our thinking abilities, am talking about plain vanilla thinking ability, not that jargonized 'Out of the Box' thinking. Because thinking requires time, moments of solace, retrospection and introspection which we can no longer afford. Sometimes we slog in order to run away from the present, to avoid confronting the problems today. We know if we do that our family will not expect anything from us, when we are back home, we know we will fall asleep, not because we are satisfied with the day went by, but because that's the most easiest thing to do on this planet !

Most of us never had any option except to keep slogging harder, so as to survive, to get rid of our ugly present or to achieve a rosy future. Unintentionally, our slogging skills become our biggest handicap. 
I think, sometimes its very important to take a pause, to give up at least for the time being and take a breath.    By loosing an argument, a match or a task we don't become a loser, but by not accepting that fact and  slogging heedlessly we definitely become one.

So are you Slog Addict ? And what are you doing about it ?

Friday, May 04, 2012

No Bollywood for Middle Aged Women !

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There's an old saying - art is reflection of the society! 99% of Bollywood movies are certainly an exception. Interestingly the India film industry aka Bollywood has two clearly defined categories - Stars and Actors ! Stars are evergreen, media friendly, people savy stalwarts, usually adept in marketing and PR activities.  Ironically very few women have been able to achieve stardom in past 100 odd years of India cinema. 

Until late 1970s, heroines, as we usually prefer calling them, had a well defined role, character and attributes. In addition, mothers and sometimes sisters too were important part of the Bollywood stories those days! The divas of 50s, 60s and 70s gracefully retired as they hit mid 30s, though most of them were married in the same fraternity,i.e. no dearth of opportunity.  Why only the women/ the heroines take a sabbatical to raise their kids and then they slowly move into obscurity forever? Why women from these wealthy and seemingly liberal entertainment industry powerhouses only become the scapegoats of the double standards? Some might say that the choice was theirs, but how free, how unbiased that decision was !

Those days going to a theater was not considered a good manner, so women rarely went to theaters. According to my guesstimate more then 90% of the Directors, Producers, writers and the technical staff was and is male. So there were genuine reasons for not casting middle aged women those days, i.e. no market for women oriented movies, very few women representatives to hoist the flag !

Cut to 2012 and the situation is still the same. Unfortunately not even young, educated, outward thinking, highly smart, international competition winner and even talented heroines are not able to demand, command good script, well written characters except those of confused love birds. The superstar actresses of 90s and early 00's are already forgotten. The mothers and sisters are no longer relevant in the mindless movies made for weekend multiplex audiences. What a wastage of talent ! 

I think the reason for current state of affairs lies in a box, infact two boxes. The one box is what you are currently using. A significant % Women in 40s and 50s in India currently are not yet Online. So they are not able to voice their opinion, voice their demands unlike their teen kids. This box has done one more thing. Because the teens and the young kids are constantly in touch with their friends and the rest of the world, so they dont miss the middle aged women anymore in personal and virtual lives and even movies. 

The other black box, is our good old, earlier known as Idiot Box. The Indian Television Industry has been filling this vacuum for past 15 years. It has preserved and reserved the Prime Time for Indian women and served them quiet adeptly. Infact the Television has provided good opportunity to showcase talent to several middle aged hero and heroines who were good actors but couldn't achieve stardom in Bollywood.

However I am slightly perplexed here. What happened on the Television screen was the cause or the effect of what happened on the Silver Screen ! Perhaps the reason lies in our expectations. We the viewers always expected our heroines to be beautiful, young, elegant and sexy. We are/were not interested in their acting and so couldn't accept their growing wrinkled face or disproportionate vital statistics ! 

Let me know what you think...




Friday, April 20, 2012

That Cut of a Blade !

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An accidental cut,
a momentary gush of blood
Reassured me that,
color of my blood,
Is still red !

Somewhere beneath my skin,
its flowing effortlessly, smoothly,
Without me caring or knowing.
running all over inside,
Reaching, where it needs to be.

Am no selfless warrior,
or caring doctor.
I'm merely,
a morbid mortal.
A thankless cynical.
living heedlessly,
Still surviving on
several umbilical.

I'm in pain,
but, happy this time.
After a long time,
somehow, I realized
Am Alive !
grateful to,
That Cut of a blade.


Sunday, April 15, 2012

Adrenalin, Cheer Girls, IPL and All that is Not Cricket..

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As we knew it !

Cricket was designed as a game to engage and entertain the families of the elite bureaucrats of the former British Empire. It survived Two World Wars (so what ?) and flourished in some of the former English colonies. Despite having a 200 years of legacy, decent money and glamour (till 2008) and yet only handful of countries decided to take it seriously. Going by shear numbers its safe to assume that almost 20% of the world population simply loves this game, and its considered not second to religion. But to put the numbers in perspective only 8 teams (countries) have been playing it consistently, seriously for more then 20 years now.

And then 2008 happened ! Yes, it survived the two world wars but not the year 2008.

Kim Raikkonen tops the charts of all time highest paid sportsperson per game ($2.94M/ game), whereas Alex Rodriguez tops the list for signing the world's largest sports contract ($275M contract for a period of 10 years) to date.

The most respected, successful of the football, baseball, basketball players play for around 30-60 minutes in a game, few games in a season and make millions. But, and this one will be a big but, mind you, what if they are asked to play the full game and all the games and all the series and tournaments possible in a year?

Remember the age old adage, Goose that Lays the Golden Egg ! So lets kill that goose and take out all the eggs at a time. Perhaps a 8 years old will tell us that the Goose the will die, but we grown ups have grown past the wisdom of age old adage, especially the ones sitting in cricketing councils, the die-hard fans and the business savvy czars and tycoons !

Usain Bolt can do a 100 in 9.58 (10.43841/sec) seconds but Patrick Makau could do a 42195 in 7418 seconds (5.688191/sec), so does that mean Bolt can run a marathon in half the time of current world record, if he wants to ? All the forms of sports have understood that its one thing to cross English channel and its totally different to swim a 50 mtr breast stroke. I hope as the cricket spreads it reach to more continents, as more and more league culture develop sponsors and board members will focus on nurturing and appointing three sets of specialists for the three prevalent forms of the game.

Cricket is a gentlemen's game, so lets not reduce it to a tug of war between the three formats !

No denying the obvious that IPL has added several new dimensions, adrenalin, cheer girls, 10x more money for 10x more players, benefiting the game in general, certainly a good beginning in a right direction.

So lets not kill the goose. We should not expect a cricketer to run a marathon in the fastest possible time and should not procrastinate a marathon runner for not being able to run a mile the fastest. Instead of putting all the monies in the factory which produces cricketers only on the fertile soil of Indian sub-continent, lets try to develop at least 29 good international cricket playing teams, so that I can no longer use my fingers.

Lets raise the ceiling because, there certainly is enough room to generate 10x more money then currently under consideration. IPL has certainly added cheer girls and several powerful aspects to the game, but both the crickets and those powerful people are trying to kill the goose, so as to make all the hay while the sun shines.

Dear Sponsors, Crickets boards, Trust me there will be a tomorrow and the Sun will shine all over again !!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Tabula Rasa !

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Watching my kid growing up, makes me wonder that how she knows that  jumping from a high chair can be dangerous even for the first time. She was bit curious and afraid when she saw fire for the first time. Chocolates, colorful balloons and animation attract her and I guess infants and toddlers all over the world, in almost the same manner.

Are we really are born clean slate ! I think irrespective of the place, family or surroundings the human infants are born with human instincts, which perhaps they learn/acquire genetically or experiencing the external world while sleeping lazily in the womb.

I like hot coffee, cold milk, tangy tomato sauce, sweet sweets but she likes cold tea, hot milk, sweet tomato sauce and spicy spices, though we are married for forty years now. Brothers and Sisters are raised for ten to twenty years under the same roof, but still they perceive, react differently to same situations. I don't think any of the identical twins will have similar liking and personality, though in addition to being exposed to identical surroundings they share few genes as well.

So I think Neither the Blank Slate hypothesis (Tabula Rasa) Nor the hypothesis that we are product of our surroundings is true in isolation, in totality.

More importantly we have to understand the significance of this non-blank slate hypothesis while raising our infants and toddlers. It might sound surprising but yes even the infants and toddlers do have a personality, idiosyncrasies. If we assume that they are Blank Slate and try to impress upon them our ideologies, our ways of behaving, it might work in some cases but I dont think its the best way to interact with infants and toddlers.

Parents keep telling their kids that they are free to do, choose career, marry as per their liking, free will. But is that actually true! By assuming that the new born is a blank slate, the parents intentionally or unintentionally start not just guiding but largely influencing and shaping them the way they  wanted to live with a secret desire that their kids grow up to become what they always wanted to, but never could !


Sunday, April 01, 2012

Information Pollution !

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Sometimes we tend to believe that by reading everything, by writing whatever we want to and sharing whatever we like, we are exercising our fundamental right to free will which is also reinstated by the founding fathers of our nation via document publicly known as constitution.

You and me, i.e We, want to take unbiased decisions out of our own free will. We want to process all the information available to us and then would like to decide, what is right and what is wrong for us, them and everybody else around us. No matter how much powerful we think our brain is, at least the conscious brain has some severe limitations. It can only process X amount of information at a time and only a total of Y amount of information every day and after analyzing and processing all that information, it needs Z amount of rest.

Today anybody randomly can generate Data by touch of a button. And randomly we keep feeding, harping and sometimes even critically analyzing those pieces of irrelevant information.

What happens next! Fatigue, tiredness, sore eyes, loss of appetite, headaches, cramps, never seen/heard/ experienced before cravings, liquor as we gain weight on our way to Consumption Nirvana !

I am not against consumption, don't get me wrong. Infact I think that's the purpose of our lives. This post is only about the by-product of Consumption Revolution, i.e Information Pollution.

Marketers, Media and a very less know, but perhaps world's best know marketers knows about this Information Pollution very well. Infact they are sitting at the helm, with desire and power to worsen this pollution, create a hazy cloud of information always in front and even behind our eyes, so that we see what they want us to see, dont act and always react, so that they can make hay even when the sun is set. Yes, I am talking about our age old friends, our so called representatives, who are here to serve us, so that their interests are served to the maximum, our friendly, but not living in neighbourhood anymore Politicians!

Those of us who can, in order to save time, are busy buying gadgets and later on updating and upgrading them simply because we need them inside our toilets, cars and offices and bed-rooms. We are spending this saved time or whatever time left with us, in consuming more things and in the process generating more and more data about what we consumed today, who's the biggest consumer among us, what our friends must consume and what they should not etc.

We try to analyze all the advertisements, test, taste free samples and buy the most appropriate Cream or Mobile phone for us. We tend to believe that we have made a rational decision by buying the best product. I think actually we are simply buying the best marketer. All the shampoos and toothpaste available in the market claim to solve all your problems, yet none of them does solve anything. Perhaps we know it as well, yet we buy, consume something, because we have to. So is this A battle of creating most luring pieces of information (by the ways of advertisements, paid reviews, social media campaign, save the world campaigns, videos, news paper ads etc) only ?

Call it Irony or Travesty, but we don't realize Our mind works on the same basic principles on which a computer works. Yes, its widely know as GIGO - Garbage In, Garbage Out. No matter how much we try to be a Free Thinker,  we become what we consume !

They (the marketers,the media and our cute politicians) also know about an almost forgotten principle in an era of Quad-core processors, FIFO- First In, first Out!

That's why our cute politicians tend to chillax, make money day and night for the first four years of their tenure and announce some populist policies, attend marriages, opening and closing ceremonies and feed us with whatever possible, in the last year of their tenure, so that we recall them after we enter the Ballot Box. They know that Elections will happen on a hot, sunny day. Their will be a huge ocean of people behind each of us, and our GIGO mind will FIFO the candidates, confused by the plethora of information bombarded by several sources (including the neighbourhood uncle-ji, brother-in-law from Patna and Boss's sister's husband from Rai-Bareily) muddled with intrinsic desire to consume something as soon as we get back home, will take only few seconds to decide, push the button or put the stamp to handover our future in safe hands.

So next time, whenever you are thinking, think before thinking whether your free willy thoughts, your assumptions and even your seemingly innate desires to Consume and Act Freely are actually influenced and literally governed by this Information Pollution!!






Friday, March 23, 2012

Bollywood's CONfusion is in the AIR !

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Please don't sneeze. After reading this post, you might want to take nasal spray to clear the air a bit in a hope to breathe fresh air someday, but let me tell you its futile.

I am lucky because I get some free time in the evenings and over weekends. However ever since I moved to Middle East my movie dose has reduced significantly. It has resulted in a loss of appetite, dry thoughts keep wandering across my minds rapidly accompanied by empty sand storms and a hollow tranquility.

But ya, living in Middle East has lot of advantages, more then I could have imagined. The best one and perhaps most important one is easy access to Indian T.V channels, ya all of them, at the almost same time and pace. After a long time, I decided to create a collage, thanks to the daily dose of Indian TV channels and through them easy and almost free access to most latest of the Bollywood movies.


After creating this collage, I realized that pictures do speak 1000 words. So I can afford to keep this blog post small, like the script and plot of the above Bollywood movies. Call it a coincidence, but I came across most of the above movies and many more, which I cant recall now with same story line, that of confused lovers. These in love people are either too afraid to accept their love or have find love of their life after getting engaged to someone seemingly boring but nice at heart person. Somehow the Music of all these movies has been great, in some of the movies even the performance of the actors under given scope was also good. But as we know our Bollywood Directors and Producers are famous for making the most while the sun shines, so they decided to make the most of this new age, gen Z, confused love bird stories. The big advantage is that the Directors and Producers dont have to spend much on story, sets, editing, costumes or even on the fee and remuneration of actors. The acting by the likes of Imran Khan and Deepika Padukone is so good and repetitious that sometimes I really wish and hope that they get rid of their straight faced confusion soon and can live happily ever after.

Back in 90s our beloved Rajs and Simrans used to invite us with arms wide open to fall in Love and now days we are getting emails with open invitation to fall in the confusion. I am married and so I can afford to remain confused, what about you ? Still searching for the Nasal spray !!

By the way, dear Directors and Producers of such confused character love hate stories, we had enough of these, we got the point, we appreciate the confusion and have full sympathy with your metro-sexual, wannbe successful, untalented, protagonists. Kindly stop making such movies ! Enough of CONfusion!
  

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Why Women Liberation Can Take Off Only in India !

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The instance of misbehavior, heinous crimes against women in India are among the highest in the world, yet there are few things which makes me feel positive.

A lot of confusion is spread on the web and in the minds of educated Indian men and women about the orthodox, way of life which I hope will clear out slowly. Majority of confusions are about Traditions and Religion. Driven by consumerism and desire to make quick buck, gain quick fame or pleasures local traditional or global festivals are getting reduced to occasional superficial lip-service, pompous celebrations. 

While a lot of traditions are good, many are bad, illogical and with passage of time such traditions have bee dying natural death. Traditions are usually regional phenomena which evolved either in response to an external situation such as geography or climate or out of one odd instances. Parda Pratha for example started in northern parts of India to safeguard the women from the eyes of soldiers and fighters from Central Asia who frequently invaded India for over 1000 years. Parda Pratha is not part of any religion of India origin. Similarly traditions such as Sati though abolished and extinct now developed due to one odd incidence. Modern educated Indian women might find traditions of Karva Chauth or Rakhi as discriminating or demeaning but once again these are not propagated by any Religion. In-fact if some time and efforts are made to learn the stories and anecdotes behind each of these rituals everybody can learn precious lessons.

Religion according to me is the biggest influence on the Indian psyche. And I believe that the premise of almost all religions originated from India is fairly neutral to positive towards women. Blind procrastination might be fashionable but not very logical and beneficial thing to do in long run. So careful study and assessment of Indian religion can help in liberating India women, contrary to popular beliefs.

Jijabai played instrumental role in developing political acumen of Shivaji. Kiran Bedi, Sushma Swaraj or Medha Patkar have been playing significant role in active and social politics for quiet some time now. Rani Padamini and Laxmi Bai (Jhansi ke Rani) have done something beyond bravery, backed by their deep political acumen and support from all corners of then totally male dominated society. No where in the world, Women have been politically active since time immoral, except in India. Even now the most powerful and important positions in Indian Politics are up for grabs for the intelligent,  educated, liberal and politically astute Women of India. Ironical the fierce competition is from not so educated segment though, which further reaffirms that the Indian masses are welcoming towards women ready to lead.

GDP of India is under estimated, because the contribution of almost 25% of India population, i.e Housewives working at their own will, out of happiness, compassion and sometimes even forcefully is not properly accounted for. Indian housewives have mastered the art of running a big family with a small budget. Thanks to the housewives, the wastage of food, energy or any resources are minimal and the cost of living is one of the lowest in the world. This peer to peer training has equipped Indian housewives with some of remarkable lessons about balancing budget deficit, arts, handicraft, running business in spare time to managing large family spread all over India. Unfortunately we the Thankless males have never appreciated the enormous, free of cost services which Indian women have been rendering to our society and country for eons. But now with changing times, in the age of information explosion and easing communication, Indian housewives are leveraging lessons learnt while running home to successfully run several Small Medium businesses, home grown businesses escalating right upto the top of the pyramid.

The influx of information has temporarily confused the Indian women and men about the essence of being India. But now, more then men, the Indian women are adapting local traditions and values. They are busy weaving the net which will safeguard the uniqueness of being an Indian women without any hesitation to borrow and adapt ideas from other cultures.

Where lies the need for Change - A bit in the Attitude of the modern, educated women towards rituals, customs and towards the voice of uneducated, home ridden women. A bigger need of the hour is to change, educate the males of this country. Both the sections need to revisit our value systems, understand our identity and appreciate that rapes, oppression, eve-teasing and several such heinous crimes are not attributed to Indian-ness. We have to appreciate that Being India is confusing in itself, so being and remaining an Indian Women is a daunting task which only Indian women have been blessed to undertake. Though its important to improve the Law & Order conditions to ensure the safety and security of girls and women, but if we, the Indian males can change our mindset a little bit, miracles can happen overnight.

The democratic chaos, the religious equality, the traditions and deep rooted family support are some of the critical and unique aspects which will put the Indian women in the driver's seat, in the Years ahead. We will see many more successful Women working cohesively with the entire society to shape the future, which world will look upon to.






Tuesday, March 06, 2012

3rd Front in 2014 !

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Or before ?

Celebrations are going on. The elections in 5 states represent the biggest election of this year. But neither BJP nor Congress is able to enjoy these celebrations. While we the people are not embracing the reincarnated extended Gandhi family,  the perennial opposition is not able to put up a strong case either. Leadership crisis is evident across all the parties and everybody seems to be cautious, trying to remain politically correct, not to offend anybody. The Political stalwarts are eagerly waiting for the results and will be willing to form alliance with old time foes. Politics has always been a leveler especially in India, where everything and anything is compromised so as to gain power. Nobody leaves any opportunity to malign everybody and anybody and yet post polls, nobody minds anything and everything that has been said during the run to the polls.

With regional parties gaining more and more power, relevance and seats, the national parties i.e the BJP and the Congress despite all their efforts in state polls in past decade are still forced/required to support a local party in most of the states, especially in the recently conducted state polls which are also termed as Semifinal for 2014!

Unless the two national parties do some real good work in the field, over and above spending millions of $ during the election campaign, I guess we are heading for a hung parliament or perhaps a Third front government   led by TMC, NCP or SP in near future! Though there has always been significant difference in the dynamics of Politics during State and Central elections but for sure both BJP & Congress secretly dream and hoped for miracle to happen till yesterday.

But Today has once again taught us the simple lesson that Yesterday, the history, might not repeat itself tomorrow and nobody can foretell what might happen day after.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

A Career in Sales - What to Expect (And Not too) !!

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Yeah I know a bit, but No, I am no expert. Just had the opportunity to sell goods and services to people and organizations. This post is not about how to make or break into sales. Sales mean different things to different people. Below are some of the things which I learnt all the way along. The list is not exhaustive because I haven't exhausted yet :)


Statutory Warning: This post has nothing to do with Grand, 97.895% Sale running on Malls near you.







What TO Expect 

1. Be ready to wait for hours outside your clients office. Humility is what sales teaches you. Beware staying for extended hours at client's office can make you feel like you their employee.

2. Pressure cooker. That's what you will feel about your head from time to time. So devise your own ways to de-steam yourself.

3. Shifting goal posts. Yeah, your target, territory and sometimes even what you are supposed to sell will also change, several times in a year.

4. Thankless people. Everybody from Marketing, Operations to HR to Project Management to Supply Chain will be ready  to take credit for your sales. Some might even go to the extent saying that all our Sales guys are useless, if I (respective department) was not there, they (we the Sales guys) will close this company.

5. Coffee, Cigarette and all that Jazz. You tend to take yourself all too seriously and start filling your lungs and lever with all that Jazz. Beware and dont overdo ways and means suggested in point no.2 above.

6. Baby Sitting. The people around you will always expect you to do a lot more then what you are doing. You might enjoy the late night parties and free booz, in lieu you will be expected to baby sit a lot of grown up babies.

What NOT TO Expect 

1. Don't think that because you are in Sales, you can actually sell everything as they show in movies !!

2. Don't expect that people will respect you immediately, because you are in sales.

3. Don't think that you will start cracking those multi-million dollar deals just because you are dressed like a Hollywood star or a Diva.

4. Yeah, they don't give those big cabins and car keys to you, especially if you are in industrial sales.

5. Don't expect to get big sales commission from the day one because your boss know how to set targets.

6. Don't expect the Techies in your company to respect you, because they worked on a project you won.



PS: You may think that you know everything about sales. But what you don't know is that you know what you don't know.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Democracy & Capitalism- Its Time to Adapt !

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I wrote a post in March last year hoping that 2011 will be remembered as an year of Democracy. Things changed significantly since then. Though nothing concrete has been achieved yet, but we have taken a giant leap in its truest sense. Call it a coincidence, but somehow then I felt that the winds of change which began blowing from the deserts of Middle East can sweep the globe and can potentially bring change, for the good!

Below is the brief excerpt of the article written year ago -
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2011 will be remembered as the year of democratic reforms, reforms by the people, for the people, as it was meant to be. 2011 will also be remembered for the pace at which these reforms/ uprising/ revolutions have materialized. Let us leave the task of categorizing these events as people's reforms/ uprising/ revolution to historians, but what is more important is the fact that Arab nations which were never associated with ( in popular media, stereotypes) a place where free will, free speech prevails can embrace democracy. So whatever was considered impossible, is actually possible !

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As we are venturing into 2012, we feel more optimistic then we were couple of years before. Greed and lust for power and money bred anger and hopelessness. In 2011 we saw a controlled outburst of this anger caused by acute state of hopelessness, which slowly gave us the much needed hope and belief in ourselves ! We saw what  a common man in Syria and India can achieve.

Post World War II, Democracy and Capitalism have stopped evolving and past 2 years have highlighted significant flaws in both the systems. We always thought that these systems are perfect but slowly we ourselves discovered the severe shortcomings in both. What started on Wall Street ended up in ballot boxes of Middle East and soon it will be extended to ballot boxes in US and India.

In past few years, Democracy and Capitalism have learnt a lessons from each other.
We all are aware of the founding principles of Democracy - by the people, of the people and for the people. Easier said, wrote, discussed then executed. Democracy which was supposed to be all inclusive, equally beneficial to all has been grossly misused by a handful of people in almost any country of the world post second World War. Though we are living in a Era of Information, but still we cast our votes, select our rulers, government based on our age old instincts.

The premise of Capitalism lies on maximizing the benefits of the all the stakeholders in proportion of their stakes. Capitalism appreciates merits, pays for hard work. If Democracy (i.e We the People) truly starts appreciating the hard-work, fire the unworthy, identify and reward based on merit and not on birth, color or sex, things can change significantly over next few decades. A lot of problems about governance and corruption which democracy bred, knowingly or unknowingly can be solved if Democracy borrows few ideologies from Capitalism.

Capitalism though promotes merit, has remained highly selective and restrictive at times. Lot of people worked hard for generations, but remained poor, lost their voice. Capitalism enthroned 'selected few' on the other end of the spectrum. The 'selected few' grew rich, powerful, untouchable and even mightier than the democratic governments.

The gap between those sitting at Zenith and Nadir in both the systems, Democracy and Capitalism has increased exponentially in past few decades.

ultimately took a nose-dive off from the peak tasting dust. If Capitalism can be more inclusive and participatory, open and accountable as Democracy is, lot of problems of greed, financial crimes and corruption can be solved in a jiffy.

Quiet surprisingly, more than 15% of the people in the world do not seems to care about either. Lets see for how long !!

I am sure in years ahead will be bit more Democratic and a bit less Capitalistic!




Friday, February 17, 2012

Simple, Pragmatic Suggestions to Election Commission

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Dear Sir,

We sincerely Thank you for providing us, reasonably good elections so far. While a lot has been achieved but still lot more is required towards Electoral Reforms. We realize that Free and Fair elections are foundation for any Democracy. We also realize that its we the voters who should come forward and play our part, but unfortunately we are sometimes occupied with our jobs, household chores, meetings or even watching the entertaining head over heels Bollywood movies. While all of our consumeristic heeds are important to push us ahead of China, we realize that by not sparing time to vote, we are insanely leaving our houses open, hoping that the Ram Rajya will prevail. While we have many other explanations about why we hope for Euphoria to prevail and prepare ourselves to be embraced by the daemons from heaven, we have few simple suggestions which can make our and your life bit more easy and comfortable. We are not challenging your or capabilities, but we believe that these suggestions can be easily incorporated -

1. Please try to plan to elections over weekends and/ or over lapping with some public holidays. I know that certain officials might not be inclined to work during such odd times, but I think that this step can significantly increase the voter turnout across all categories such as working professionals, students or housewives. We, the people wont mind spending half of the off day to vote, but the probability of voting decreases significantly, if its organized on one of the hectic weekend.

2. Please try to increase the number of voting booths, so that its easy for you to monitor voting in each booth and it takes less time, thus will not hamper many of us from voting, who cant afford to spend hours in que under sun, due to various reasons.

3. Please make some special arrangements for physically handicap, elderly people, pregnant women at the polling booths.

4. As you might be aware that in 20 major cities of our country more than 100 million people, reside, i.e more than 10% of the total population. A significant percentage (guesstimate> 50%) of people are not bonafide of that particular city, hence cant vote. Similarly in several Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities and towns (by population). Overall all these migrants (in metros, major cities and towns, including the NRIs) should total to more than 100 million India citizens, who cant vote. So please make simple and clear policies so as to include this group into election process.

5.  Instead of investing your time and resources in taming the Elephant, please try to tame the Liquor barons, the free food, drugs, cash distributors. You may disqualify candidates who found doing these un-democratic misdeeds and all his relatives from contesting in election for next 15 years. Please go on and ban that political party from contesting in the election of that specific constituency.

6. In addition to publishing all information on website, please create information kiosks in each village, town and city from where the citizens can gather information about the affidavits filed by each candidate, current and previous election manifesto of each political parties etc.

 7. Please the Government of India to allocate more funds to you, so that you can round the year propagate and educate the citizens about their rights and responsibilities.

8. Mobile Booths - Big trucks or vans can be converted into a Polling Booth which can travel to remote areas, Colleges, Hospitals, IT Parks etc where lot of potential voters reside but who are not able to visit Polling Booths due to insane traffic, heavy work schedule etc.

Implementing above suggestions wont cost too much of Exchequer's money, but will definitely improve the participation of we the people thus bolstering democracy in many subtle but powerful ways.

Of course the above list is not exhaustive, please add your suggestions in the comments and we can subsequently send an email/letter to Election Commission !





Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Bird's Love !

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I can do what I like,
For me people are alike.
I do love their distinctness, their individuality,
But I have my own version of reality.

I can see you in high and low,
Often, staring right across the window
While I am here right on my tree,
Unnoticed, happy and carefree.

And then I fly,
Up there high, very high,
In the serene, blue sky.
Under the Sun shine, seldom I shiver
Across the clouds, over the river.
Above the mountain all blue and white,
Shining bright in the day light.

And then with night, I come back
With growing moon light, I come back.
 Perhaps, on the same tree.
Where again its me, only me.
And then, I rest.
In my nest,
Feeding my kids,
Hoping for the best.

With next lustrous ray,
They open their eyes.
I set my sight
On the tranquil, Orange Sky.
And then I fly,
Up there high, very high.

Nothing more, I will never need.
For, this is everything,
I ever Loved.

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I started Writing this poem almost 8 years ago. I am glad that found it safe on my hard-disk (Don't ask how it reached my hdd, because I dont remember that :)) !

Saturday, February 11, 2012

From Poverty to Samruddhi - A Microfinance Solution

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Poverty remains one of the biggest challenge India is facing today. Unfortunately the number of poor living in abject conditions by any normal standard, is much more then the population of most of the continents. We all know about it, we all discuss about it and sometimes we even give some donations, but very few of us actually go on to soil our hands in mud and clay, work towards solving this problem.

One organization working silently to eradicate poverty is Samrudhi Microfinance Society. Microfinance is an effective tool to combat poverty. It helps people to help themselves. By providing small loans to low income women entrepreneurs Samrudhi aims to help several communities to get rid of the vicious circle..

Samrudhi Microfinance Society, recently launched an updated website - We Care India. The new website allows individuals like me and you to extend micro-loans through their websites. These loans are repaid back to the lender in around 12 months. I find this concept far better then blind donations. The lender can track the progress of the borrower online. Samrudhi helps the borrowers in several ways, so as to ensure that they pays back the loan in time.

Samrudhi is currently participating in an online contest organized by Global Giving. If Samrudhi can raise $4000 through Global Giving contest page here they will be listed on Global Giving website permanently. This will provide much needed online exposure to Samrudhi. If Samrudhi is successful they will also get matching grants from several corporate in UK and USA. I hope readers of this post will appreciate the work of Samrudhi and will help them to win the contest.


It's very difficult for most of us to realize how much interest people in rural India or urban slums pay to get cash so as to buy household items or to run their small business for few days. Banks or other financial institutions are not interested to even open account for such truly needy and hardworking people, because of the risk involved. So these men and women are left with no other option but take small loans (e.g. Rs.100/day- Rs.5000/month etc) from these lenders, also known as loan sharks.  I remember having a conversation with vegetable seller in my town. She told me she lends Rs.100 in the morning and returns back Rs.120-Rs.130 in the evening or next day. Loan sharks are omnipresent in India.

Lack of access to funds has multifaceted affects on the lenders, borrowers and the economy. Such transactions generate black money in the process, which loan sharks keep in the form of cash or gold. My guesstimate is that around $ 8-10 Billion black money is generated by this exercise. Secondly such high interest loans comes with high pressure including life threats. Several people are unable to repay such high interest loans from loans sharks. Some of them breakdown and abandon their families, some unfortunately ends up committing suicides.

Other organizations, I am aware of working to combat poverty in a sustainable manner having Internet based loan facilitation model are Rang De and Milaap.



Tuesday, February 07, 2012

And I think I am Smart !!

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I purchase goods from a  mega sale.
Yes, the huge discount was too much to resist.
I never cared to check few weeks before
Or after that sale.
But, yet I think I am smart.

I go by the reviews, rankings and ratings.
But I fail to realize that those previews,
Rantings and raketings are written, by
Somebody like me.
Some of them are paid for it,
Others write because they are still  not paid.

I love the senseless movies,
Not because they make lot of sense
For those who made them.
I know I can something meaningful,
With my time
Yet I choose to be entertained.

I care, so I never dare,
Though I know its not fair.
I choose to hear only few
Of my near and dear.
When confronted, I rarely give that stare
And instead look here and there.
But, yet I think I am smart.

I know they don't care,
Because I dont.
And so I gradually transcend
From being carefree
To perpetually careless

I think I am not harming anybody
But, I fail to realize
The One who's getting harmed,
The most.
Is nobody, but Me.

I know I deserve better
Yes, heaven is the place for me.
But I am ready to spend all my life
Right here, on this Earth.
Yet, I think I am...










Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Leander Paes - An Unsung Sports Icon !

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A nation starved of Icons with whom the youth of country can relate to, fortunately I am happy about the unsung 'ness' which real, worthy Icons face. Leander Paes is one of them.

He become the first Indian to win under 18 Wimbledon tennis tournament. Later on he become first Indians to win a medal in individual sports category in Olympics, by winning much coveted Bronze medal in Single's category 1996 Atlanta Olympics. I remember watching him play against Andre Agassi with so much passion and zeal in that awesome semi-final. Aggassi was in top form then and though he won the match, the world saw what a true fighter Leander was and will remain.  Fortunately Abhinav Bindra won a Olympic Gold for us later on. These 2 medals still remains our cherished and only Olympic medals in any individual sports.

Leander Paes chose to focus on his game, his fitness and stayed away from media, especially the Television advertising. His focus and commitment paid of well as he went on to become one of the most successful Doubles Tennis player of the world. Leander had the opportunity to rake in multi-million dollars by endorsing several brands, attending award functions or by working in movies etc. However he seems to be contend with the prize money and chose to rather use his time to practice, play and win more games, tournaments, one after the other without making any headlines ever except for his achievements in sports.

What I have learned from Leander is that one can remain focused on his work and yet can earn good money, bring name and fame for the nation and for himself. I learned that its not necessary that people around you and the masses will appreciate you for your good work but still you can do what you like and excel at it.

It amuses me that despite of having such a vast pool of raw talent, we as a nation is not able to do much at truly international level ( and I dont think Common Wealth Games are truly international, with all due respect). Once again, who's to be blamed at. System? Government has done absolutely nothing to develop decent sporting infrastructure at the grass-root level. Sometimes I wonder what would have happened to Indian cricket if  exceptional players like Kapil Dev, Mohindar Amarnath and Gavaskar never happened to India. The first and second generation of Indian cricketers developed on their own, drawing inspiration from one another, without any support from government or authorities. If 1983 never happened perhaps 2011 might not have happened either.

The nation became obsessed with Cricket (a sport which is played by practically 8 countries of the world) because we had no other option. Period.

Whatever Leander Paes achieved is exceptional. He achieved it on its own. Our media never cared to write too much about him and that actually worked to his advantage. Because he achieved everything on his own, his success cant be easily replicated and scaled to develop more committed, hard working players like him.

In past 5 years, Cricket grew big because Corporate World started riding on the back of Crickets to promote their brands. Leander Paes is exceptional and not everybody can be like him. So several small town boys, who became popular overnight started riding the euphoria on the back and shoulders of some exceptional 3rd generation players such as Sachin, Kumble, Dravid. The sheer number of talented cricketers available increased, because the money involved, the glamour, name and fame increased all of a sudden, especially after the IPL booom !

Leander Paes personified consistency, he never stopped just because he won an Olympic medal or led India to World Group in Davis Cup.

Sports is not just about entertainment and business as it seems to be reduced to currently in India. Sports is celebration of human spirit and raw capabilities. Technology has made our lives comfortable and will continue to do so. Sports field is where we realize that like other animals, we too are made of flesh and veins. Our blood also boils and heart can afford to skip few beats. When a sportsmen is in a field, doing what he's supposed to be doing, nothing matters except him. No matter how much money is riding on his back nothing but only his performance can raise him above the rest, amidst the best.

We as a nation definitely can do much much better then what we currently think of. Campaigns run by individuals, organizations such Olympic Gold Quest and NDTV Marks for Sports have raised awareness, provided some ray of hope to other sportsmen and women to pursue their passion, learn and excel in sport of their choice.

Still lot more is required, not just from government but from each and every parent. Lets not stop our kids from becoming Saina Nehwal or Leander Paes of tomorrow !