Saturday, August 29, 2009

Ethics & World of Finance at SSSU

Financial system, world-wide, is put to severe test.
When we look back, it dawns on us how we messed up the banking system and created this near-GD type situation.
We can attribute to several factors: failure regulatory agencies, over-trading, non-compliance to credit/risk norms... etc. But if we further analyse it, it boils down to individuals, Leaders and the members of the teams. It is leadership failure, no collective/individual responsibility.

Across all levels, we just failed to stick to the basics of banking and prudent norms. Short-term goals for organisations and individual-level (eg hefty bonus) were the drivers. Sadly, what goes up has to come down.. in such cases it comes down with a thud, not a smooth landing.

Not surprisingly, Islamic banking has been relatively insulated from the vagaries of this crisis. .The strong fundamentals of the concept and the general passion to implement same in letter & spirit, being the contributors to the success

In this backdrop, it is most appropriate the senior bankers in the country assemble at SSSU to deliberate on Ethics & World of Finance. The five human values (Satya, Dharma, Shanthi, Prema, Ahimsa) are the integral part of Sai Philosophy, including the educational institutions. 'Satyam Vada, Dharmam Chara' is the motto of the university.

Throughout the educational-journey, students are inculcated values such as
Money comes & goes, Morality comes & grows...
Education is for Life, not for Living...
Love all, Serve all/Help Ever, Hurt Never

SSSU is the right platform to deliberate on this.

This must have been an eye opener for the senior bankers too, having got the opportunity to 'reflect'.

Mumbaikar takes home the lowest, UBS Study

Acc to a study by UBS, Price & Earnings 2009, employees in Zurich & Geneva take home the highest net wages in the world, amchi Mumbai at the lowest ! This is based on the study which compares the income and purchasing power of employees in over 70 cities across the globe.

This may come as a surprise for the Mumbaikar. But, that is the reality!

But the study does not evaluate or measure the spirit of the citizens... on that front, Mumbai must be right on top...

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Jaswant Singh's Book on Jinnah

Indian politics always throws up its own twists and turns, like a soap opera. The latest episode is sarrounding Jaswant Singh, his book on Jinnah, his expulsion from BJP and in the process a lot of proverbial washing of dirty linen in public

The book will sell a few thousand extra copies thanks to all the hue and cry. The author plans to travel to Pak to promote the book. The Indian/Pak diaspora itself can help the publishers generate a decent sales numbers.

We can not and should not deprive Jaswant Singh of his freedom of speech and expression. Let us be matured enough to look at the book purely from the final product. What is important is the quality of the work. How much of research has gone into it and does the book give references to the research-sources ?

(ICHR) Chairman S Sabyaschi Bhattacharya has said, " There is nothing novel in the book. Many authors and historians have already stated that Jinnah was not in favour of partition or creation of Pakistan,"

Unfortunately there is lot of bad-mouthing of our national leaders, Gandhiji, Nehru and Patel, apart from Jinnah. Again, let us not forget what they have done. They also may have committed mistakes. Also, we need take cognisance of the volatile situation at that point of time. Let us analyse so as to learn and move on. These events should generate the right debate so that the two nations mature as democracies, true to the dreams of their founding fathers.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Best sportsman

In his article, "IN THE ERA OF WOODS, FEDERER, THE LITTLE CHAMP STANDS TALL", Sunil Gavaskar says Sachin is the best of the lot. While all the three and many others have reached the pinnacle in their respective sport, Sachin stands out for his character on field.

I agree with Sunny, with the pressure that is on an Indian cricketer, Sachin's composure is truly saint-like. Cricket is supposed (used ?) to be a gentleman's game. But in contemperory cricket, Sachin is a true gentleman. A gentleman, with that kind of record, makes him one of the all-time greats.

Thanks to the credit crunch and other stress on our lives, there is a change in our behaviour and response-patterns. We can look around to see the change, while the experts do an extensive research. In such situations, sportsmen like Sachin inspire us to remain cool and be the best.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Ten years of Blogging

The art of blogging is ten years young... ! 10 yrs is definitely a milestone, for anything that is on such a popular, free-to-use and evolving medium.

The medium has evolved from pure text-based to picture/video etc.

While most of bloggers took it up as a hobby, there may be few who are doing for other personal reasons. For me it remains a hobby, a medium to express my thoughts/feelings/views, take a stand, and not be part of a silent majority...

Thursday Thoughts

A relative celebrated her 84th birthday. She is loved and respected in the family, and beyond. Society, because she was a teacher by profession and a devoted one. As for the family, she was loving and kind to all. Relatives are happy, but with a tinge of sadness... While she remains physically fit(thanks to God), she has lost her memory totally. She is second in the extended family, both from same generation/branch of family-tree. After seeing the snaps on Picassa, I mulled over it. Yesterday, at the lunch, discussed briefly with cousins, all from the same 'tree'...

Any spiritual question lingering in our thoughts gets addressed to, sooner than later. But, I was surprised to hear a talk on the radio on the brain, this morning, in line my earlier thoughts on relative.

A neuro-surgeon from Australia spoke eloquently regarding the rapid strides being made by science through research in the area of human brain.
When asked on how to take care of the brain, he stressed the importance of physical and mental fitness in our lives.

Mental fitness is as important.
1. For that, physical fitness is the basis.
2. Mental activity, without stress.
3. Mental exercises( eg Sudoku)
4. M E D I T A T E

We live in a far-more complicated world and are more stressful. The impact on our system can be bad, with likely future complications.

I would summarise, Spiritual Living is the key. The doc gave a good example, how he would go beyond his normal call of duty.

He quoted Einstein, 'Spirituality begins, where science ends'. Master corrects, both are one & Divine...

Monday, August 17, 2009

Life of a Forced Bachelor...An Autobiography

I have been getting some queries on mail/sms/phone, 'how is life, being a forced-bachelor?'. Family is away and I have to manage:take care of myself, my peculiar food habits, poor time management and few pets... all alone!( Spiritually, I am NEVER alone!)

Last week-end was lost, courtesy flu/fever. Thankfully it was a simple flu and fever and I am back on track. With Swine flu et al, the world population has moved into high risk zone. I am no exception. Hence the big responsibility to take care of myself (mom keeps reminding, almost on daily basis). I am no social animal. This situation has given me the option to withdraw further into the cocoon of home and do things I prefer. Poor pets are at risk though!

Pets include five hamsters ( plus couple of new born!), two fish tanks ( one belong to a friend's family, enjoying vacation in Eastern coast of India)and my dog (needs no intro though). Also, the birds I feed every morning, outside. The sheer responsibility to feed them, bathe the dog every week, keep things out of reach of dog which picks up virtually anything to chew... pretty tough on my puny shoulders ( I am reminded of Wooster of PGWodehouse. He had the luxury of Jeeves, how lucky!)

Years ago I chose to become a veggie. I am almost knocking at the door of being a vegan and a strong supporter of anything that resembles PETA/environmental impact/satwik, etc. Now that makes it impossible to eat out! So while the stock in refrigerator (courtesy a caring wife) lasts, I may not lose weight dramatically!

Trying to catch up on some of the things on hold - music practise ( poor pets have to put up with my cacophony!), writing, reading, etc. Reading two books now, one on management and one spiritual ( more of it for later posts). Struggling to find time for meditation, my no.1 priority ( need better proof of my time management skills?). Got delivery of three books from amazon this morning... ( cost of book is less than shipment cost!) But now more pressure on time, to read these books asap!

To top it all, last night I discovered cooking gas was over#$%@$*!! Back to hot plate...:( Slow food and every thing slow is fine, but not slow tea-making & slow cooking! Thankfully, gas cylinder delivered today and I am back to tea-making and some cooking, with a revenge !

Stand by for more updates...So, boring you with a bit of autobiography ! Just for a change... Feel free to comment :)

PS: Studying in Hyderabad, it was common to tell when someone gets into a self-dabba mode, 'why don't you write an autobiography, so that I can read at my leisure'!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Khan detained at US Airport

Our media has got yet another topic to sensationalize. After Swine flu all these days, the media can highlight how SRK was detained at a US airport.Someone was doing his job and we should appreciate. I liked the comment of a UP Police official who appreciated the work-ethics of the cops in US.
Thankfully over 70 % on ToI polls felt we were over-reacting. Media can pursue more pressing topics even at the cost of few TRP, in service of the nation. ( We just celebrated our ind day!)

We do not want anyone to be treated badly, including our popular stars. But let us not over-react either. esp Govt of India, pls.

It is unfair to complain cops in US are picking up on our khan only. Bob Dylan went through a similar experience on Saturday !

Talking about responsible reporting by media, the concluding episode of Witness on Al Jazeera International, on Super 30 at Patna, was very inspiring... How couple of people are making a difference by enabling the aspiring students from poor background to reach I I T... hats off to the channel and people behind a noble ventures such as Super30

More interestingly a 12 year old US kid is in the process of building an on line tv empire which will specialise in reporting only that is good. Food for thought for the entire media fraternity, world over ! Google ' US kid embarks on good news dream' for more info.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Independence Day

India celebrates Ind Day... Indians world over celebrate being Indian ! Wow... you become more patriotic when you are out of India. Three cheers to my motherland... maa tujhe salaam....

years ago, my dad suggested how about me following his footsteps and joining defense services. Somehow I was not very keen. Thankfully, he did not persuade me and gave me 'the freedom' to choose my career path. One of the reasons was I wanted to be independent. Having seen army-life very closely, I thought there was limited freedom once you opt to become a soldier. But today, after years in corporate life, I confess, 'being independent is very relative'!

I am aware 'being independent is a state of mind'. It has nothing to do with my job, my environment or anything external. True independence is when I am not a slave of my mind, body, senses...

PS : In that context, army life would not have been a bad idea, I would have been physically fit and strong too...

Friday, August 14, 2009

Time Management

After some posts on spiritual/current affairs, etc I am in a mood to reflect on a different aspect, Corporate Life. We spend most of our time @ work, so what we achieve/under-achieve there is of great relevance to our Journey of Life, Spiritually, as always!

A forward of Robins Blog, No Idling-$2,000 Fine, caught my attention. How true....! We have no luxury to waste time. As suggested, we should fine ourselves for every moment wasted and I would add, when we did not give our very best. Afterall, every moment is Divine.

Master gifted one of His devotees a wrist watch. This devotee, a senior army official, told Master, 'I don't waste time'. Master said, 'I know, I know'... Perhaps the underlying message was the army officer still had opportunity to save time. If so, all observers/devotees had a long way to go...

Robin Sharma's concluding message is You can't idle and get to great. Make a choice.
Procrastination is very natural to us. The choice is ours: good or great. And how we manage time is of great relevance.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Thursday Thoughts, Spiritually

It is Swine Flu all over... India joining the bandwagon, Pune sadly gaining the slot of 'epicenter of swine flu' and all cities virtually hit in varying degrees...! This just when the world finally seem to be shrugging off depression-like blues. Germany and France are officially out of it, China & India are leading from the front!

There are whole lot of natural disasters, now happening a lot frequent. The world is definitely getting 'less cool'. I am troubled by the thought, most of it is just because of me and my fellow world-citizens :( We can not blame nature or any one else.

With the swine-flu vaccine still a few months away, other options are being talked of. Apart from the hygiene and improving fitness level, other suggestions include homeo medication, vitamin c, to take gifts of nature such as tulasi leaves/garlic and also camphor!.... As always, fitness of body and spirit is what matters. Our immune system can handle any flue if we just get our basics right. While body can be taken care by exercise & food habits, spirit can be taken care by genuine spirituality. Rather, look at every thing holistic and spiritual ! The world badly needs more spiritual vibrations...

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Journalists freed:Release of Laura Ling & Euna Lee

My previous posts were on Friendship Day (an international celebration) and Raksha Bandhan ( more Indian-specific). Thank God, I am in a position, physically/mentally/Spiritually, to appreciate NOW & HERE. It is against this background I look at the release of these two journalists from North Korea.

International relations are beyond the comprehension of mortals such as us. But the outcome... kudos to all the parties involved, including on the Korean side. A brilliant job by President Clinton.

What is important is we learn the lesson from this episode and move on, and not to try to win brownie points/blame-game. That is the way we should handle all problems. Then this world will be a lot better place...

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Sister's Day Raksha Bandhan

My previous posting was on the friendship day, when I tried to connect with many of my friends...I am a mail-guy, not a talk/phone guy. So, the option to 'pen' thoughts on my blog and try to reach out to as many friends possible was a natural thing to do. Thanks to all those who responded. Also, for the encouraging words on my new obsession, blogging :)

Rakhi is very special... very different. So beautiful !

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Friendship Day

World over, first Sunday of August is celebrated as Friendship Day. Like many other similar ‘days’/celeberations, the origin of Friendship Day is traced to US too! Way back in 1935, people felt a need for a friendship day !

Few days back, while driving my son to the pet shop ( one of his favorite destinations), he asked me about friendship. His best friend had gone to to stay with his grand parents and continue his high school. (Then, we had brought home a pet dog to help junior ride over the grief!) Earlier to that, some other friends had gone off to Canada, Kolkotta. Now, at the beginning of a new academic year, his current best-friend seem to be on his way out… . Naturally, he was feeling let down by God!

I spoke generally about my friends, my concept of friendship, etc in a language that he would understand. But, on the eve of Friendship Day, when I got couple of advance-greetings, I remembered the thoughts… hence sharing!

There are several things in life for which I am very grateful to God. One of them, wherever I went, I always had some very good, dependable, true friends. For a introvert, moody, ordinary guy like me, it is nothing but sheer Grace… Also, as a teetotaler, inability to share a drink has its own disadvantages.
I have always tried to remain connected with my friends, Very early in life, I would write letters to friends. Much later, it was SMS and e-mail. (Except on some rare occasions, when I shot off physical-letters to some friends, after watching Dil Chahta Hai, etc ) There have been so many who were out of touch and got re-connected!

Over the years, I have got spiritual with my idea of friendship too. Satsang is an integral part of spiritual journey. I have become very selective about new friends… Master said, ‘ Tell me your friend, I shall tell you what you are…’. Also, ‘friends are passing clouds…’ Of course, the main reason is the strong feeling & aspiration, God is my only, true friend. That helps me to be dispassionate about things generally, and detached about literally everything.

But a true friend endures. A true friend understands, inspires, helps to be the true self/without pretentions …. A BIG T H A N K YOU, FRIEND! The world needs more friends like you, for a lot more people like me... God Bless You.