Friday, July 31, 2009

Thursday Thoughts, Spiritually

Had shared this thought with someone very close... the thought remains, hence sharing.

Today, it is tough times for a lot of people. Earlier people were running in pursuit of their dreams. Today struggling to stay afloat. The tragedy is this new development has had a cascading effect on a whole lot of others. And the fear of an uncertain future, with its global implications, has made it worse. There are a whole lot of new people pulled into this twister-like situation - parents, spouse, children, in-laws, friends, neighbours, etc... So, we may find people around us behaving strangely as we are not aware of the complications in their lives.

Of course, we have become too 'sophisticated' to share
(Remember: share sorrows= sorrows halved, share happiness= happiness doubled!)

It is time to reach out. It is necessary to be empathetic. The society needs all the positive vibes, badly.
A very simple thought we may feel... But then, everything was quite simple and straightforward. We complicated things!!

Social networking trends

Bill Gates has deleted his Facebook account, after he found it impossible to handle the requests for connections, and also… getting thousands of mortgage refinance requests due to the sub prime crisis and thousands more friend requests from non friends. He had some advise for others who get hooked/addicted to all those tools to stay connected through network.

It was reported, a popular brand had put a contest to exit facebook to qualify for prizes.

This is the latest craze, obviously. Like everything else, when used within control, no harm. Too much of anything is bad!

Bill Gates may inspire many more users to quit such platforms and utilize time more effectively. I am definitely one of the candidates !

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Akal Takht & Mumbai Rubbish

Akal Takht, the Sikh religious body has called upon the Sikhs to GO GREEN- they have reminded the followers it was their moral and religious duty to save the environment. Great! We can always count on the wonderful Sikh community to implement this. We need more religious groups to embrace save-Nature as part of their prayers and other related activities. Only a spiritual movement can save the environment.

Mumbai's famous, recent high tides threw up over 600 tonnes of garbage, back on to the city. The sea has been accepting thousands of tonnes of garbage all along... perhaps that 'return gift' was a gentle reminder to us. . . Mumbaikars always displayed highest standards in work ethics. We now need to use that value-system for saving Mumbai's environment. The spiritual-oriented Mumbaikars need to take up the environment cause quickly, before it is too late... The city of Mumba devi/Mahalaxmi temple/HajiAli/Siddhivinayak/Elephanta/Mahim Mosque and Church/Shirdi Sai... need the staunch devotees to take up the environmental responsibility NOW!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Thursday Thoughts, Spiritually

Few legends are in focus, in my recent posts- MJ, Dr Kalam, SMG (Gavaskar), Sachin Tendulkar, Nelson Mandela... Some others have not been mentioned, Gangubai, Tiger Woods, etc. I wonder what enable them to reach the pinnacle...
SMG was asked recently, the secret of his success: He said,
  1. God's Grace
  2. God also gave a lot of Determination and Concentration (Source: Gulf News, Gavaskar Special)

I felt that was cool! Inspiring, spiritually ! If we are able to dedicate all success and failure, happiness and sorrow, disease and good health, etc then all these dualities will disappear. There will be pure JOY only!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Sach ka Samna

Frisking of Dr Kalam was the, it is 'Sach ka samna' both Vinod Kambli's comments and the objection in certain quarters to the very concept of the program.

Kambli's comments came as a big surprise!! As Pres Obama told a group recently, 'the destiny is in our own hands'. If Kambli failed to reach the level of Sachin's accomplishment, he has to get into interrospection and it will dawn on him what went wrong. It may be too late to make yet another come back, but he can play a second-innings in what he is good at and what he enjoys best. He alone is responsible, no one else. It was a question of focus, perseverence, character, value-system, hard-work .... that makes one. Sadly, Indian/World cricket lost a talented left-hand batsman ...

I always quote the example of this jodi for success vs failure, to my son, colleagues and others. We all fail to reach our best because somewhere we lost track.....

As for the furore in LS and media, let us focus on more pressing problems. A piece of advise for press is to avoid prime time for such programs, just as I suggested to a leading daily to take vulgarity out of their home-page at least ( when feedback was sought on the new design of their website). Yes, we have the option to switch off, ensure our kids do not get exposed and use time better.

Our Destiny is within our own hands....

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Frisking of Dr Kalam

I got some reactions about my earlier post... it was evident many people are upset about the whole episode. For 'frisking our former pres'/'humiliating a great soul such as Dr Kalaam'/'for doing that to an Indian,South Asian,racist'/'biased'/etc.
I was surprised at Continental's earlier stand, 'it is our policy'!! And their reluctance to be empathetic to the feelings of the Indians, their customers, current or potential!!
Now, they have come up with a feeble apology, perhaps more due to the outcry.

Let us put this behind ourselves and focus on more important issues. One such issue is the hot debate in Karnataka - making kannada official medium in primary schools and SC's timely and appropriate intervention. Thanks to SC for that.
If we really love and respect living legends like Dr Kalam, let us handle issues close to his heart better: children's education as part of his Vision 2020 for India

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Frisking of Dr Kalam

This is one of the hot topics today...MPs from various political parties were on their feet, raising the decibel levels at Lok Sabha, on this issue..! Reports say, 'an unrepentent Continental Airlines' has said every passenger is treated 'equally' and will thus be subjected to 'frisking', before boarding their aircraft.
Air-traval became less safer wef Sept 11. Thereafter, the three recent air-disasters, have made all more paranoid. If C A's rule says so, perhaps they were right in frisking Dr APJ.
I wonder what is Dr Kalam's stand ? The reports confirmed he went through the formalities, 'politely'. True to his way of doing things... He might be feeling silly being in the middle of an unnecessary 'controversy'!
Last couple of days, I have been tracking reports on MandelaDay celebrations. No doubt, he is a great leader and truly God's gift to mankind, Africa and RSA. We indians like him due to the Gandhian connection.
I was looking at our own list of prominent contemperories. I had recently posted about our inability to acknowledge the living legends! Few names came to my mind - Dr Singh, Dr Kalam, Atalji, Pt Jasraj, Lataji, SMG/Sachin, Amiabh, Pt Bhimsen Joshi, Vishy Anand. . . ( I am keeping our Sri Sathya Sai Baba, Sri Sri, Mata Amritananda Mayi, ... out of this list) I felt Dr Kalam is comparable to Mandela. He is embodiment of what India stands for.
A frisking incident will not affect people of Dr Kalam's stature. He is much more than a former president for us. It is beyond the grasp of Continental Airlines...

Monday, July 20, 2009

Our Pet Fussy2

Make over of our Fussy2 :)
Check snaps, bottom up...SMILE. !

Pet Airways

Now our beloved pets can 'fly in the main cabin, not in cargo' ! How sweet !

My earlier pet-dog, travelled with us from Hyderabad-Ottapalam-Trivandrum-Mangalore-Neemuch(MP). All travels in train, cargo div. At end of each journey, she would have fallen ill, minor though.

If Pet Airways start in India, as a affordable airlines, it would help so many pet-owners. It also rhymes with JET airways... they could do a brand extension too... PETA must be happy ! Three cheers to the people behind PA... ensure five-star service...

check out commercial :

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Hillary Clinton in India

This morning, as I was in a hurry to get my (King's) breakfast, I quickly checked out NDTV... nothing worthwhile reported on Hillary's visit.

At lunch, it was interview with Barkha. Late evening, at tea, it was again the same interview. Before, dinner, it was yet again Hillary and Barkha. Now, just like the interview with Priyanka Gandhi and some other similar scoops, NDTV will keep telecasting so often we would be able to rattle out the interview, as we used to memorise dialogues from Sholay..

I kept checking out CNN... surprisingly, they had better (!) news to cover ! Not even once I saw them reporting on Mrs Clinton visit !! Earlier Rev Jackson and now Fareed al. But no India or Hillary! ! ! It is as much America's loss as it is India... While Rev Jackson quoted some depressing statistics about the plight of blacks and President Obama reiterated 'the destiny was in their own hands'... I felt, dalits in UP were lot more empowered, despite Mayawatis/Rita Bahugunas/Mulayams/Rahul babas....

Nothing concrete has yet emerged from the high-profile visit :( I hope she sets tone for some key issues: Terrorism, nuclear support, climate change, tie-up at corporate level, etc. We look up to Hillary and her President to lead the world's political leadership out of the current mess, on all fronts... !

Indian minister, Jairam Ramesh, might have raised a mini-storm by talking about 'US pressure on India', on climate change. I would rather say, we should take the initiative to show to the world, we care for our environment. We owe it to our children...

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Now TV Banking too...

The idiot box just got less idiotic !With TV Banking launched by ICICI Bank, you can get all info regarding your loans, accounts, deposits etc while watching TV ! Seemingly you don't need internet connection ( thanks to Satellite TV), it is available 24 X 7 and ZERO CHARGES (that is quite surprising, how come no service charges! May be an introductory offer :) ! )
For more info, check out

Friday, July 17, 2009

Thursday Thoughts-Karkidaka Masam/Month

This Thursday is different, as today (Friday) marks the beginning of a new month as per Malayalam calender, Karkidakam.

Karkidakam falls at the peak of monsoon ( thankfully, update from my native village in Kerala is it has been pouring, of late). The rains are considered to be the grace of God. Abundant rains mean good crop and a contended life. (Unfortunately, our great civilization still depends on the vagaries of monsoon !) So, earlier when the fields were flooded and most of other economic activities were in pause-mode, people 'looked inward'. Hence, this month was also known as Ramayana Month, a month dedicated to reading Ramayan.
Accoridng to our scriptures, there are nine types of Sadhana-one of them being Parayanam.
Naturally, when the going is bad it is ideal to shift to simple diet, porridge of all essential nutrients (karkidaka kanji). This period is considered to be good for ayurvedic treatment, because of weather conditions and also (may be) it used to be low cost treatment based on natural remedies and practitioners used to be families passing on the knowledge to generations...
This month, we remember our ancestors too...

For Sadhana, any month or moment is ideal. Any of the nine methods/combination thereof, fine. The idea is to be in God-consciousness...So, let me not miss this Ramayana month to BE Near and Dear to My Ishta Devata

I always loved books. It has been a source of inspiration, knowledge and also escape. I belong to a generation which treated books as symbol of Goddess of Knowledge. So, my affinity to books continues to stay on as a part of my ethos. A library, a booshop or a personal-bookshelf always usurps my attention!

It is very late in my life that I am exposed to the fantastic concept, I have been hunting for couple of books. Did not get them in India Egypt, Dubai or some other parts of Gulf. Just to name one of them- Amitav Ghosh's book on Egypt, In an Antique Land...So, finally I placed order for three books. Lateron added three for my son, Percy Jacksons. The process of enrolment, placing order and response to queries has been just fantastic. Finally, I tried to combine the different shipments to get the benefit of lower shipment-cost. Was unable to, due to their genuine difficulty. I sent a mail to them. I get a quick response, they give me a solution- to treat the packages as one in terms of cost, and give me the refund ( though I would get more than one package!)

The sheer speed of response, the keenness to resolve and refund - I am delighted. It is not the quantum of amount ( refund), but their genuine focus on customer service that impresses me. I showed the mail to my son, so that the young teenager gets his lesson on customer-service very early in his life. It is doubtful if I would ever walk into a bookstore hereafter. Would try to divert as much purchase to ( I may prove to be a worthy acquisition & retention for them)

I have heard so many people/trainers talk about different brand experiences. I am personally passionate about customer service. Have heard of Ritz Carlton as one of the shining examples from some international trainers. Robin Sharma's couple of recents posts mentioned too: one about the coffee experience at an airport and room service at a hotel. I have faced such situations in hotel too - also, their reluctance to serve vegetarian food to my satisfaction. Though all hotels across world should conspire to push vegetarian habits to their customers as part of their go green strategy...

Tata Nano

This is a small step for Tata, but a big step for automobile industry! And a proud moment for the customer, and his folks. For Mr Ratan Tata it must be a dream come true. It is his dream that will enable the thousands of middle class commuters move up from a two wheeler/public transport to own a car. Few years back, at a town in MP (Neemuch), when my family ran into my customer who had just availed car-finance told my wife: 'hum jaise be-caar ko inhonhe car-wala banadiya'!
The world is watching... the next, important step is, how the car will actually perform on the road ( and not under ideal test conditions!) That is more critical from the automobile industry point of view, more so with the current slump in auto industry.Last but not the least, Tatas must a find way to tackle the environment concerns. One simple way is to sensitise every customer/dealer staff involved. Tata should convert Nano campaign into a GO GREEN campaign and work on it. Tatas have the credibility to take such a stand and execute. Best wishes to the Team-Tata...

Monday, July 13, 2009

Incredible India This Week

Loads of action over the last week....
  • The recent events brought an end to the excessive obsession of Indian media, TV channels to be specific, to the recent court ruling on gay rights. We have so many problems to handle. But, media will always ensure they don't miss an opportunity to give extra focus on a 'hot' (sic!) topic. Is TRP everything ? Shame of channels like NDTV which has mastered the art of playing sickening topics (gay rights) and visuals of a sad story (Professor Bhatnagar being carried away after the attack) again and again... Is this responsible media ?

Sadly other developments were no source of relief ! But at least media has a new topic(s) to focus on to keep up/improve their TRP

  • Tragic accident at delhi. Delhi metro is one of rare symbols of modern India's engineering excellence. We all are proud of it. The way the project came up, in the heart of dili-ke-dil, chandni chowk, is a brilliant proof of professional execution, at its best. The way Mr Sreedharan opted to quit is an example of true leadership. Let us hope the project, despite the post-quake-tremor-type accident, cranes coming down today, the project moves ahead...
  • Another unique leader is cornered -Kerala CM, VS Achuthanandan. CPM politbureau has dropped him from PB and not taken any action against Pinarayi Vijayan. Achuthanandan, another popular leader in the mould of Nayanar, Achutha Menon and the great EMS, would have preferred a more respectful exit ( whatever be the provocations !) The former LS Speaker (Somda Chatterjee) fought back professionally, completed his tenor with near-perfection and stepped out in style. Let us hope VS also takes a similar path. He owes it to the thousands of his supporters... India has very few political leaders of their stature.
  • Chattisgarh has just witnessed one of the worst Maoist. That is no communism, what Karl Marx and Lenin prescribed !!
  • More painful is the ruling on a murder of a professor at a university in Ujjain. Our tradition is Acharya Devo bhava. But a guru is brutally killed in the holy city of Ujjain! I had seen a budding politician at Nagpur airport, few years back. Today, he is the Union HRD Minister. All his plans for our is of zero value ( Zero, courtesy another great Indian!), if we do not base our education and educational institutions on our core values - respect for culture/elders, etc. A silent majority of educated Indians are demanding justice...
  • Last but not the least, hoonch tragedy in the land of Mahatma !!! So there is a parallel liquor industry thriving in this state where booz is banned. It causes deaths! Gujarath's political leadership should either implement the ban on booz or bury it so that the state does not lose precious lives and not-so-precious tax on liquor! ( Hard choice??)

Testing times for Political Leadership of India!

Friday, July 10, 2009

SMG turns 60

The oiriginal little master, SMG, turned 60.
Best wishes to him and wish him many more such happy, healthy and spiritual milestones.
He is celebrating at Prashanthi Nilayam.
His descipline, dedication and focus helped him to reach the greatness. We have had several greats in Indian Cricket. But the first and original is SMG. He is a living legend!
PS : Photo courtesy: ESPN

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Thursday Thoughts

Living WITH God is True Education
Living FOR God is true Living
Living IN God is true Spirituality
--Sri Sathya Sai Baba ( Source- RadioSai)

This should be guiding motto for us, at different stages of our Purusharthas.
As a student, we should be ideal student-focus on studies and all other responsibilities of a true student....
As we enter the next phase, we should be living for God-do all work as offering to God ( without expecting or influenced by the fruits thereof), work within the Dharmic principles...
Living in God is the only way & true 'living' !
PS: This could be linked to stages of Purusharthas. But, we are students for life/continue to lead active life till last breath/spirituality is at all stages of life... all three relevant at all stages also.
Spiritual Food for Thought :)

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Tribute to MJ... King of Pop (contd)

It is the final journey for the King of Pop.

It is after his death, he is remembered more and missed badly. This is a common phenomena. We fail to appreciate a living legend...

I am able to connect with MJ and his music/dance now, more than before. It is nostalgic for both me & wife. But, it is my son, with his interest in music and dance, who has discovered the genius. He goes around with a hat, in the middle of his term-exam-preparations, trying out MJ's steps.

He was so much innocence in his early days and such a fantastic dancer. I feel ( though no expert), he was more gifted with his dance, than his singing/lyric/music etc. Indeed, he lost that somewhere as he went up the success ladder. So sad...A lesson for all...Worth not emulating!

Some of his popular numbers ring a familiar tone. But, I fondly recall his We are the World. And, I am now more able to connect to his Earth Song. The message of his Earth Song is more relevant today ( & will surely be tomorrow and thereafter). He always had a passion to address the common issues around him. Worth emulating!
A fitting tribute to the King of Pop is if all his fans can live by these ideals of making this world a better place to live...

Sunday, July 05, 2009