Monday, December 29, 2008

Good-Bye 2008 and Welcome 2009

Wo..2008 has been eventful year. So much had happened. But Ofcourse, most of all this year will be remembered for credit crisis and market crush. Everyone knew 'What goes up must come down' but most people thought 'its not now'. 2008 has thought us many lessons and made us realize what we already knew: Our way of life will evolve, expand & shrink with things we do and with things around us.

Hope we would make good use of this experience in 2009 and beyond.

Personally, it’s been a good year for me. 
2008 started with new a job and yet another relocation,
Travelled few far corners of earth,
Stepped onto few uncharted experience,
My investment risk profile has been very high,
I lost few and I gained more,
Hosting Parents and took them around places in Euro-Zone(highlight of my year),
Crossed 3decade of 'joy-ride'/life with no(almost) regrets,
So I do believe, Iam better-off from the year before.

In 2009 I hope: to be patient, risk control, body(/health) control, newness out of new beginning.

Its time of peaceful prayer,
for love, law, labour, loss & gains.
these are the wishes of the coming reign.

to all those who I pissed off: Iam sorry but I had my reasons.
to all those who pissed me off: you are forgiven, but we won't be friends anymore.
to all those who gave a helping hand: thank you, I owe to pass-it-forward.
to all those disappointments I caused: never meant to hurt.
to all those who disappointed me: thank you for making me re-evaluate my expectations.
to all those who owe me money: now is always a good time to give it back. J

be kind and be fair
be patient and be prepared
be nice and be wise

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Why not a Political Startup but how?

Very interesting post on Venturewood -> Why Not A Political Startup.

My comments:

One more supporting hand for the idea. I was reading somewhere that--its time for silent majority act & react (middle-class and non-farmers,..) but how,why,what,who,where,.. is the question(s)!

Few suggestions/questions/cautions:

  • Objectives/Goals & strategy:
    • We need to create detailed case-study/white-paper why & how it works? I think, its too simple to say- politicians are corrupt and given a choice majority of people would elect non-corrupt individual ignoring other facts & reality. If somehow we can create franchises to built and grow informed citizen with a hope that will translate into best judgement then I think, we might be historically wrong in thinking that way.
    • if motivation is power and/or money then we fall into same old crap(may be in different form). To me, its much better for stupid people with bad ideas to run the country then by smart people with bad ideas.
    • Organisation has its own culture & objectives and people sign-up to be part of it with their own objectives (and might have different culture believes). how do we reconcile that?
    • Politics is very wide spectrum and our idea can be killed very soon since historically market space has been smart enough to manage new-comers, monopoly. M&A will soon change objective & implementation strategy but better returns.
    • We will need Gandhi like many individuals (or Steve jobs like popular figure with to-die fan-base)/market leaders/experts for every single issues (education, poverty, political reforms,…). how to create or attract them? align them to overall objective?
  • Implementation:
    • Once basic principals & ideals are defined (with do’s & don’t’s, what/how to support and not to, based on what!,..). then we will need to gather like-minded people(like TED conference) to brainstorm implementation strategy which would very different for each region/communities/demographic.
    • We will then need to gather support/fan-base(brand loyalty) --(like obama's campaign organization) by creating awareness, media strategy, market campaign, website, mailing list, web2.0 create fan based and NGOs networks to participant to show the presence over time without losing site of initial objectives/goals and implementation strategy.
    • Then how do we avoid been (liberal)biased and not to ignore national ground-reality & sentiments? because most people how sign-up would be from similar walk-off life(lack of diversity) thus branding would become problem.
  • Returns/Business mobel/Funding:
    • Any such venture needs investment and any investor wants to cash-out sometime. How we do that here?
    • Bussiness model for ROI and raise captial? via internet among middle-class will be challenging as you can see eCommerce in india has be mostly advertising driven not subscription driven. (so obama like strategy might not work well)
    • its very easy to keep discussing without much impact in market space (thus cause investors unrest and wanting to cash-out sooner with any other possibilities). how to avoid that? and stay invested. 

List will grow without any clear agreeable answers for most of it but certainly its worth discussing with more specific & details. 

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Mumbai Tragedy on Jon Stewart's DailyShow

Bankrupt Ideology pursuing a Bankrupt strategy..and we sure cannot let these terrorist MoFos control our lives.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Reaction expected, but how to!

With end of Mumbai terror crisis, now media/people/politicians all are debating about what action should India take? It’s clear the terrorist are Pakistani origin. As I think about it with my little knowledge on foreign policy- India can react:

  • like USA- the black-and-white view and go to war with Pakistan. Is it a smart move? I don't think so. It’s almost clear & most experts would agree that the Pakistan government has (atleast no longer) no control-over all of its territory and these militant groups. Also history doesn't support Pakistan’s government when they say 'not-us' & 'we-stand-with-you-and-support-you' but I do believe & trust majority of Pakistani people even those who disagree with US's war-on-terror, has favourable opinion for good relationship with India. So I don't believe both in short-term and long-term this(war with Pakistan) would be any good and would solve nothing if not make it even worse. However I understand, this seems to be popular taking-point now. 
  • like Israel- on back of Munich attack Mossad planned & acted out series of target killings of terrorist involved. Its a smart move. should india do something similar? may be (assuming such an act is possible by RAW in short-to-mid-term). But I would be ashamed of such actions from land of Gandhi. Our morals and character are tested not in good time but in bad. 
  • like India, as in the past- Continue to do what we do but only just this time, be more smart and learn from mistakes to handle pre-and-post situations. Work for better relationship with Pakistan with increased economic/trade links, intelligent links, supports them to clean-up their politically/ISI/military structures. This is in best interest of both the countries. 
As I mentioned in my previous post, it’s very easy to forget progress made in recent times between India & Pakistan as we live in 24news cycle which doesn't allow us to think. 
And as Gandhi said, 'Anger and intolerance are the twin enemies of correct understanding' and 'Anger is the enemy of non-violence and pride is a monster that swallows it up'. I sincerly hope common-sense & cool minds in India government will prevail during these testing times.

And Word to Pakistani’s friends/government/media(if anyone listening)-- It doesn't help when all evidence points attacker are from Pakistan, rejecting it only shows age-old 'not-me' response. Instead work with us and be more critical about your decision making as well & accept your shot comings..Please.
Non-violence is the article of faith, which is the quality of the heart, cannot come by an appeal to the brain.  And its not a garment to be put on and off at will. Its seat is in the heart, and it must be an inseparable part of our being. -- Mohandas Gandhi

Friday, November 28, 2008

Day after thought, to defeat terrorism

Yesterday I was sad, angry and wrote down (here), what I thought was happening and didn’t happen.

Today with sense, I am eating my words with honest measured reflections & thoughts. With best intelligence, task-force and even if USA acts responsiblily without ‘what’s-in-it-for-us’ foreign policy, will it defeat terrorism!? At best, it can save few more life, might stop some terrorist acts and might defeat terrorist but it will not cure terrorism.

It was very easy for us(atleast for me) to forget recently events before the attack. We had 65% voter turn-out in J&K elections, Pakistan Govt. acknowledged Kashmir’s Mujahideen as terrorist (which never happened before in our history), Pakistan Govt willing for greater trade links with India. India & Pakistan never had better relationship in the past and growing strength-to-strength by the day. Surely my (Indian) government is doing something correct which I am overlooking and not giving credit for.

In today’s globalized world, either we are victim or observer of such terror attacks. The moment we throw un-measure thousand words in public then we make the mission of the terrorists successful. Since their motivation is to get publicity for good or bad reasons. Media doesn’t help either by providing the kind of horrific visuals.

Although India can proudly claim to be quite inclusive in nature though favouritism has been always an issue, yet these repeated incidents of terror instead of making us immune and indifferent is actually making us apprehensive and panic stricken. So what can be done? Nothing much can be changed if someone is willing to kill him for a cause. Even Moon & Mars cannot be a safe place. Yes Nothing can be done without having a long-term politically solutions, socially policies, roadmap, education, jobs, social justice, tolerance, patients,..which ofcourse isn’t start-end path but a continues effects to make tomorrow better than today.

If each of us continues to do what we are doing without getting greatly influenced by the news and stand with our morals then in long-run terrorism will vanish.
I will try to do my part by not panic and by not posting incomplete blog (which I did yesterday).

PS: very interesting article with good insights @ How to Defeat Terrorism

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Yet another attack…and??

Yet another attack on freedom, It’s nothing new for Mumbai, a city I admire for its courage and resolve. I am sad but more than sad I am angry. I am very angry because, I don’t see or read what my government is doing to stop or atleast control such attacks! 

First it was ordinary people, then multiple attacks across cities, and now attack on foreign diplomats and rich side of the city. From Parliament to Judiciary, everything in this nation is targeted.

for F*@k sake, Cannot we improve human intelligence inside the country? Why cannot RAW(India’s CIA) predict such attacks? Why still don’t have anti-terror wing?

Statistically more people in India die from terrorist attack each year (more than Iraq or any other part of the world). Yet we don’t have any clear roadmap and strong law to stop such attacks or action plan to react to such attacks. Few laws which we have are often used for political purposes thus making it ineffective.

India Inc and Indian public had always found way around bad policy, politicians, corruptions, to achieve sizable growth. And I understanding, Fighting with terrorism should not only be the duty of government but only(or always) people cannot do anything without government framework with honest intentions & effort.

The intelligence gathering in India is very bad. We swung into action after strike takes place and then get relax for another to happen. At national level, there is a need of a high-level anti-terrorist squad, which should have its branch in every state. Intelligence system & anti-terror laws of our nation requires complete overhauling & better implementation and should be outside hands of political establishment.
It is also necessary to have a centralised system of information gathering and disbursement. There is a need for one or two toll free phone numbers, which any body can take information from about victims after such strike or in the case of natural calamity. It is far from understanding that why until date government has not thought of such a mechanism for a country like India, which is not only big in geographical term, but has vast population and diversity in the terms of languages as well. It is also necessary that if anybody has any suspicion then he or she can call a toll free number and can share the information with the government. No such method is available. Even if someone finds something suspicious, he chooses to remain quiet, as majority do not want to deal with local ’khaki’ clad. Government must provide an option to those who want to share any information without being harassed. Unfortunately as of now, no such thing exists in our nation.

There is also a need for task-force for handling the situation, which arises after such attacks. It must consist not just security personnel but also doctors, nurses, NGOs. Life can be saved if we have an expert team, rushing at the site to assist the victims & families.

Entire nation is depressed to loss lives but we still put brave face and move ahead. I pray for peace and for the families who lost their loved ones.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Diwali explained..

Happy Diwali... wish this day brings lights into your life. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

another year to come...

Birthdays comes and goes in every year
but few remains with us as golden memories
Its a special day to celebrate with loved ones
although, the years carry our age away
every aged year brings happiness

C have been blown off to say good bye to old year
and then the cakes is cut to say welcome to new age
The birthday song sung to forget the world
and the birthday wishes keep pouring to live more

Dine and cakes are served unlimited
Music to remember unforgettable day
'Happy Birthday To You' that is last words that we hear
from each and everyone and again the drums are silent
for another year to come.

Monday, August 11, 2008

moments (un)defined...

I guess I could be really pissed off about what happened to me, but it's hard to stay mad when there's so much beauty in the world. Sometimes I feel like I'm seeing it all at once, and it's too much; my heart fills up like a balloon that's about to burst... And then I remember to relax, and stop trying to hold on to it, and then it flows through me like rain, and I can't feel anything but gratitude for every single moment of my stupid little life...You have no idea what I'm talking about, I'm sure. But don't worry... You will someday.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

what Psychology can do for us?

Martin Seligman talks about psychology -- as a field of study as it moves beyond a focus on disease, what can modern psychology help us to become.! Talking about Happiness = Pleasant Life (positive emotions) + Good Life (work, love, leisure..) + Meaning of Life .

Martin Seligman founded the field of positive psychology and has devoted later part of his career to furthering the study of positive emotion, positive character traits, and positive institutions. It's a fascinating field of study that had few empirical, scientific measures -- traditional clinical psychology focusing more on the repair of unhappy states than the propagation and nurturing of happy ones.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Disappointments (un)Defined

If we are content then we will not be disappointed,
If we aspire & work to achieve it even then we might not be disappointed,
So only sure way towards disappointments is either;
We are content with something which we don’t like or
Our aspirations/expectations is beyond reality.

Does it make any sense?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Vagabond -- Part2

After reading Vagabonding by Rolf Potts, made me wonder about life and what I am doing with it.!

Recently I was tracking Matt Harding, 31 yr American who decided to travel around the world. I envy folks like him. Two things that caught my attention, which wanted to share with you today:

Where the Hell is Matt? is 4mins dancing video. and what’s more interesting is- background score incidentally is in Bengali and is an adaptation from the poem “Stream of Life” from Gitanjali by Rabindranath Tagore and it has been sung by Palbasha Siddiqui, a 17 year old second generation Bengali of Bangladeshi origin from Minneapolis in the US. (More @Palbasha Siddique is up there with Madonna and Mariah). Its awesome don’t miss it.

and if travel is your interest and like me, you always blamed money or time-- Matt's Interview:

links which might interest you:Vagabonding Journey Planner

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Multi Cultural weekend

For some stupid, silly and lazy reason I am not hear often enough. I have no good excuse. anyways..

This past week was long weekend in Luxembourg. I was very tempted to travel the usual backpack got away trips. But a friend suggested that this long weekend is worth staying back. and Indeed it was. It was fab.
Saturday evening with Orchestre Philharmonique de Luxembourg Concert playing movie soundtracks from Bond, IndyJones, Mission Impossible, Lord of the Rings, Pirates of Caribbean,… with crowd cheering for more the show overrun.

Walking away not too far good DJ mix. Opposite to Indian food stall. That’s right. Indian..;) couldn’t believe my eyes. Samosa, Chicken Saag, with good music and ofcourse very good company made the night (and earlier morning)).

Sunday as usual started at afternoon(for me morning) manage to get up and ready for 3pm to watch Capoeira

and Brazilian music & dance. beauty… and made some new contacts which always pressure.

Walk away few meter accidentally landed on African concert

Cheer leader.. cheering nothing—may be to make people eat and drink more.;)

and Central & south American music

and Luxembourgish traditional dance

whole evening of walk around and hoping into multi-cultural concerts.
then watching Grand-Duché de Luxembourg

followed by Parade. Which I thought very funny I cannot understand theme its public service, school, old people organizations,.. may be all Luxembourgish passport holders.!?) [/so very low local population here.. ;)]

ofcourse National Day Fireworks..

and biggest open air party in town with crazy music, crazy crowd..
in the middle that crazy noisy crowd-- someone is getting married and friends throwing bachelor party..

And another weekend night ended in earlier morning…
Morning relatively quite day. Military Parade in afternoon
and also because of busy sleepless weekend.
In short- making random friends, great music, concerts, mulit-cultural events… and all night out open-air noisy parties- Long weekend was awesome.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Look Up, Hannah

thanks to my little bro boobesh - found a very inspiration speech from a man who most of us abhor may be for very different reason.

Did you know? the two men- Adolf Hitler & Charlie Chaplin were born within four days of each other.

The Great Dictator is movie made by Charlie Chaplin- about Adenoid Hynkel(Chaplin), the power-mad ruler of Tomania, and a humble Jewish barber suffering under the dictator's rule.

Chaplin ends the movie with the barber's speech calling for peace and prophesying a hopeful future for troubled mankind.

The Great Dictator movie by Charlie Chaplin. Film ends with the barber, having been mistaken for the dictator, delivering an address in front of great audience and over the radio to the nation, following the Tomanian take-over of Osterlich (an obvious reference to the German Anschluss of Austria on March 12, 1938). The address is widely interpreted as an out-of-character personal plea from Chaplin. Chaplin's controversial speech, seen as an overtly political speech, may have contributed to the litany of reasons he was ultimately denied reentry in the United States during the McCarthy era.
Transcript @ Speech from Charlie Chaplin

Look up! Look up! The clouds are lifting - the sun is breaking through. We are coming out of the darkness into the light. We are coming into a new world. A kind new world where men will rise above their hate and brutality.
The soul of man has been given wings - and at last he is beginning to fly. He is flying into the rainbow - into the light of hope - into the future, that glorious future that belongs to you, to me and to all of us. Look up. Look up

Timeless speech- almost 70years later we all aspire for the same.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

3 Mistakes of my life

Chetan Bhagat is back with 3Mistakes of my life. I am yet to get hold of this book. Too bad, its not available in Amazon or other online stores. I had requested friends traveling from India to get a couple of me. any lucky person who got initial review?

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Malgudi Days - TV series

R.K. Narayan's Malgudi Days- is one of my all time favorite story collection. and If its your favorite too.. then you might remember DD(indian national Televesion channel) TV series Malgudi Days. althou I was too young to remember but I manage to saw some in later days. But now thanks to technology I had opportunity to see the whole series(along with some of the other DD classics).

Complete Episode Playlist

Malgudi Days is the classic collection of short stories by R.K.Narayan is set in the small Indian town of Malgudi which is inhabited by timeless characters who could be living anywhere in the world. This TV series contains poignant short stories which also depict interesting anecdotes from the life of those who lives in Malgudi.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008


Talking about Burma's Cyclone- First Ofcourse thoughts goes out for those who are suffering in Myanmar.

and about US reaction:

Hypocrite - Laura Bush & Bush talking about Burma's government and who they haven't warmed people about recently cyclone and wasn't prepared. also . Also saying Burma's Military haven't reacted properly during aftermath(which might be true). But I wonder- what was she or her husband doing when Katerina reached New Orleans. When US government so called super power was incapable of handing pre or post Katerina effects and till date people are still recovering, Mr & Mrs.Bush should feel ashamed and shouldn't talk about Burma's government reaction.

Is it just me being crazy? Why none of major media outlets/reporter asking such questions to them when these kind of press meet happens.!!?

Just incase if I am misinterpreted- I don't regard any Military Government(Myanmar is no expectation) as good alternative to democracy. also I must admit that I am not very help about Indian(my) government's stands on Burma.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Global warming… Saving earth?

No doubt human has making earth worse by the day but i always wonder about save earth slogan. why earth need saving? sure for my kids and grand kids.! but if it look millions of earth to reach where we are now but surely it will take more than 100yrs to make worse for millions with 9billion(then projected world population)

I find this interesting comment from BBC’s program- Earth: The Power of the Planet

in the long run, earth can cope with anything we can throw at it we could clear all the jungles, but a jungle can regrow over a few thousand years. we could burn all earths’ fossil fuels, flooding the atmosphere with carbon dioxide but even then, it will take the planet only a million years or so for the atmosphere to recover even the animals we are wiping out will eventually be replaced by others equally rich in diversity as a relentless work of evolution continues it’s only a question of time the earth will be just fine.

it’s not to say rapid changes we force on earth don’t matter that is because humans operate on a different time scale we have evolved to life in a world as it is now so in changing this world, we are altering the environment that has allowed the human race to thrive we could be creating conditions that threaten that long term survival of our civilization.

so all this stuff about saving planet earth, well that is not the problem: planet earth doesn’t need saving, earth is a great survivor it’s not the planet we should be worrying about, it’s us.
Ofcourse its no excuse to do our bit to make this world better place but lets have no isolation- its NOT earth we are trying to save but its just yet another selfish human act.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Borrowed Heaven

All beauty all fade away, borrowed
All moonlight, return today, borrowed
All sunrise all shooting stars, borrowed
All earth bound bare feet in day
you know we're standing on

Borrowed borrowed heaven
Borrowed borrowed heaven

All heartache all rivers cried, borrowed
Don't stay out too late tonight, borrowed
I love you don't wanna die, borrowed
You taste like paradise, I know I'm breathing in

Borrowed borrowed heaven
Borrowed borrowed heaven
Borrowed borrowed heaven
Borrowed borrowed heaven

You gave me life and I will give it back
But before I do, I'm gonna hold it tight
This is my prayer

All body, All skin all bone, borrowed
All silky, all smooth and warm, borrowed
All pleasure, all pain are one, borrowed
Almighty I stand alone
I know I'm living in
Borrowed borrowed heaven

Monday, March 24, 2008

Ooh la la

The Corrs (with Rod Stewart) - Ooh La La

Poor old Grandad I laughed at all his words
I thought he was a bitter man
He spoke of women's ways
They'll trap you then they use you before you even know
For love is blind and you're far too kind
Don't ever let it show

I wish that I knew what I know now
When I was younger
I wish that I knew what I know now
When I was stronger

The can-can such a pretty show
Will steal your heart away
But backstage back on earth again
The dressing rooms are grey
They come on strong and it ain't too long
For they make you feel a man
But love is blind and you soon will find
You're just a boy again (joana)

When you want her lips, you get her cheek
Makes you wonder where you are
If you want some more then she's fast asleep
Leaves you twinkling with the stars

Poor young grandson there's nothing I can say
You'll have to learn, just like me
And that's the hardest way, ooh la la

I wish that I knew what I know now
When I was younger
I wish that I knew what I know now
Whan I was stronger

Sunday, March 23, 2008

DisOrder Life...

That's the current mood...
Nothing is according to plan and unable to plan/predict anything. not that it ever was but still this is heights. Moving into new Country is not new but trying to sort out basics is vvveerrrryyyy time consuming and boring. [/another good excuse for not being here for (long)sometime here.]
with NO new book, no internet, no TV,.. not following news atleast not at same frequency like before-- ya, now I can imagine life in stone age.

OK. till next time... show some faith & patients.
till then-- Peace for your soul. I was exposed to this music by the movie Constant Gardener.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Everybody hurts...

When your day is long
And the night
And the night is yours alone
When you think youve had enough
Of this life
Hang on

Dont let yourself go
cause everybody cries
And everybody hurts

Sometimes everything is wrong
Now its time to sing along
When your day is night hold on
Hold on (hold on)
If you feel like letting go
(hold on)
If youre sure youve had too much
Of this life
Hang on

cause everybody hurts
Take comfort in your friends
And everybody hurts

Dont blow your hand
Oh-oh no
Dont blow your hand
If you feel like youre alone
No, no, no, not alone

If youre on your own
In this life
The days and nights are long
Youre sure youve had too much
Of this life
To hang on

Yeah everybody hurts
Everybody cries
Everybody hurts

Everybody hurts sometimes

So hold on, hold on
Hold on, hold on
Hold on, hold on
Hold on, hold on

To know youre not alone

Friday, February 29, 2008

Book Review -- Updated

The Secret History by Donna Tartt

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Yes We Can

It was a creed written into the founding documents that declared the destiny of a nation.

Yes we can.

It was whispered by slaves and abolitionists as they blazed a trail toward freedom.

Yes we can.

It was sung by immigrants as they struck out from distant shores and pioneers who pushed westward against an unforgiving wilderness.

Yes we can.

It was the call of workers who organized; women who reached for the ballots; a President who chose the moon as our new frontier; and a King who took us to the mountaintop and pointed the way to the Promised Land.

Yes we can to justice and equality.

Yes we can to opportunity and prosperity.

Yes we can heal this nation.

Yes we can repair this world.

Yes we can.

We know the battle ahead will be long, but always remember that no matter what obstacles stand in our way, nothing can stand in the way of the power of millions of voices calling for change.

We have been told we cannot do this by a chorus of cynics...they will only grow louder and more dissonant ........... We've been asked to pause for a reality check. We've been warned against offering the people of this nation false hope.

But in the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope.

Now the hopes of the little girl who goes to a crumbling school in Dillon are the same as the dreams of the boy who learns on the streets of LA; we will remember that there is something happening in America; that we are not as divided as our politics suggests; that we are one people; we are one nation; and together, we will begin the next great chapter in the American story with three words that will ring from coast to coast; from sea to shining sea --

Yes. We. Can.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Return to India..Journey

Article from/Source: India Knowledge@WhartonIn November, India Knowledge@Wharton published Bangalore-based writer Shoba Narayan's account of her family's decision to return to India after living in the U.S. for 20 years. Since that time, Narayan's essay -- "Return to India: One Family's Journey to America and Back" -- has generated a number of candid comments from our readers on the growing trend of non-resident Indians returning home. In this opinion piece, S. Srinivasan, a writer and executive based in India, offers an analysis of the predicament Narayan describes, attributing it to a "preoccupation with a consumerist style of living." "Without an enduring objective at a higher plane," he argues, "it is not surprising that there is an element of drift and dissatisfaction."

I read "Return to India: One Family's Journey to America and Back" with considerable interest and felt compelled to comment on it.

By far, this is the most exhaustive and well written piece that I have seen on this complex topic. The coverage traces an immigrant's journey from the larva stage until wings sprout at the citizenship stage. Many of the problems are described so vividly that those who have not yet reached this stage can experience a dry run, free of cost. Unless the writer had intensely felt the pain of this conflict, it would not have been possible to bring the issue to life so dramatically. We must credit the writer for unhesitatingly acknowledging the greatness and positive aspects of the U.S. and its society, even while expressing anguish over her inability to choose whether to return to India.

However, what is the bottom line of all this painstaking recollection? Why do individuals in the top IQ quartile who have mastered bio medicine, integrated chips or complex derivatives quake at this cross road, particularly when there is no unknown factor? Indeed, [in Narayan's essay] all the parameters are well enumerated. Comparisons are elaborately drawn and quartered and the equation almost solved except to hit the return key and deliver the verdict. Here it is stuck. Why?

I get the feeling that this massive voluntary disclosure is only an excellent statement of the problem. We need to see the root cause. Here is a case of an eminently successful family, and yet they appear to be in great torment for taking a step of comparable dimension to those that are taken by the ordinary and the under privileged on a fairly regular basis. This quandary compels me to give my two rupees worth of unsolicited view. And while doing so, I would like to make two things clear: First, I am viewing the India and U.S. options neutrally. Second, the writer's account is taken as quintessential thinking of a group of persons in a similar dilemma; while my response is to the group as a whole, understandably, not all of it will apply to everyone.

Why do people come to the U.S. to start with? Surely, not for its culture -- rich, or otherwise. Their objectives are clear: They have visions of swank universities, plum jobs, the green card, 'big moolah," creature comforts, the BMW and annual holidays at exotic locales from Auckland to Alaska. At the same time, without knowing the specific pin pricks, they are quite aware of the possibility of Indian kids running into turbulent weather in their teens and the strong home factor which will wistfully pull them back. These issues, fully visible even at the starting block, probably get brushed aside with the notion that "one will cross that bridge when one comes to it." And the day of reckoning duly arrives when the house is complete with gym and Jacuzzi, the Porsche and the Prius, the HDTV and Blue Ray, and the dog and cat. Here, the charm of material benefits wear off and the higher levels of Maslow's "Hierarchy of Needs" take over. Once the wallet starts bulging and the kids are conversational, panicky parents are seized with the grimmer aspects of this venture.

In "Return to India," the trigger for the writer's reassessment of continuing in the U.S. came from very ordinary events -- like parties, for instance. Therein lies a clue to the real issue. While overtly logical and legitimate factors are listed, discussed and thrashed over, there are other factors at work on a subterranean level. Recount the subtle and not-so-subtle references to the identification and stratification of family status based on the location of homes, the cars driven, the attire worn for parties, the experimentation with wines and attending $1000 dinners. The goal in life appears to be to be able to announce that we have "been there and done that." Buffeted by peer pressure, there is preoccupation with a consumerist style of living -- a state of affairs where the mission in life is continuous evaluation, calculation, positioning and comparison. Even charity seems to be part of this process. Without an enduring objective at a higher plane, it is not surprising that there is an element of drift and dissatisfaction.

Though anyone in a household can influence the decision [to go home], in this case the control appears to belong to the man of the house, with his predicament on the job front. He becomes mentally ready to make a move only when the circumstances are favorable to an astonishingly high degree: A guaranteed job at the other end. A job in the same organization, restricting cultural shocks to the minimum and preserving seniority. Dollar denominated emoluments. Settling down in Bangalore, rated as the best place [to live] in India today. Same home city for both spouses. No apparent complications in the domestic scene, such as in laws and out laws. Extensive overseas travel with opportunities to be back in the U.S. on work. Savings possibly upward of $600,000, a level by Indian standards that is sufficient to sit at home and play golf for the rest of one's life. The reassurance that the children will be back for their higher studies. And the U.S. citizenship status which can facilitate a back track, should the experiment prove to be a failure. The elusive "best of both worlds" does not get any better than this -- and if this is the benchmark for deciding on a shift, there is slim possibility of the majority of this group ever making a move.

People in our society face crucial forks in the road or cataclysmic changes in their lives on a daily basis. The dilemma of families living in the Middle East, for instance -- whether to plod along or to leave. Over there, the lure of petro dollars is evenly pitched against noxious factors, such as life in a Death Valley-like environment, interaction in some countries with arrogant locals not particularly known for courtesy or understanding, job quality that is not exactly stimulating or scintillating, and a non competitive environment for children that tends to soften them. Or, imagine the plight of a retiring general manager of the Indian railways who executes challenging projects for transporting millions. When he or she retires, there is a free fall from a private railway saloon coach and a car with a beacon light into a non-descript, self-driven vehicle. And 200,000 subordinates vanish overnight. People can go through severe mental agony or even fall apart in these and similar situations, but they do cross the Rubicon and stay sane. And there are no parties to discuss these [issues]. No websites or chat rooms to exchange tidbits and terabytes of information. No high profile research or analysis of any kind.

In "Return to India," some of the impressions expressed by the writer appear to border on fuzzy logic and need to be validated, since erroneous impressions are the mother of all misconceptions. Are there not children with exemplary upbringing in the U.S., and conversely wayward specimens in India? Cannot kids be kept on track through values inculcated at home and through the powerful family and filial factor?

Also, while it is true there is less respect for merit or excellence in India, this is largely confined to the political establishment which is somewhat allergic to these concepts. We should zoom into the more relevant zone, the corporate sector. If barons of business ranging from Tata to Mahindra are making waves across the oceans, it is not with a squad of selected sycophants. Today, industry is willing to pay a premium for merit. And this is being met by go-getters who can hold their own against the best in the business internationally. And Indian women in the corporate sector are on the list of the most powerful and influential persons in the world.

Likewise, the writer's reservation about quality medical services is also misplaced. While on average the quality of medical treatment may be abysmal, that again is not our zone of discussion. The hospitals that could be visited by this segment of the population would be of high to very high order where some of the best brains will be behind stethoscopes and scalpels. Indeed, "medical tourism" is a buzzword gaining ground, what with super wealthy sheiks routinely looking at India for treatment, in view of the huge cost differential. As for health care in the U.S., the less said the better. In the bizarre U.S. medical system, traumatized patients are routinely made to wait endlessly while the painful premedical processing goes on. Locating the personal physician and getting him or her into a synchronous mode with the insurance squad and the hospital can take eons while the hapless patient waits in agony. No less than Hillary Clinton seems to have failed to reform the system and has bitten the dust against these entrenched vested interests.

Thus, the primary issue [for families like the writer's] appears to be the lack of a towering objective or goal in their lives to which other parameters can subordinate themselves. There is comfort in being perennially in a state of flux and ruminating rather than in deciding one way or the other through some compromise. Why not look to the Keralites in this regard? This is the group that is omnipresent from Delhi to Dibrugarh and from Dubai to Dallas. Wherever you go, you find them with their tea stalls or tyre shops, or anything else that supports life. On one side, they have God's own country that is closest to Paradise, except for the fact that employment opportunities are lacking. And yet you are unlikely to find them endlessly discussing the merits and demerits of a shift. They tend to blend with the location and put their best foot forward. No wonder they are among the most successful emigrant groups anywhere in the world. Looking at the lack of will power on the part of Indian parents in the U.S., it seems patently unjust that Indian children born in the U.S. should be carrying the cross of "ABCD" [American-Born Confused Desi]. The problem is squarely with the parents, and in fairness, they should be given the appropriate nomenclature. I propose the term "AACI" -- pronounced "Ah-ki" -- to denote those America-Arrived Confused Indians who will only dine and whine.

Leaving aside temporary "techies," there are four types of Indians who land in the U.S. Group one, which comes just for the education and possibly some bare minimum experience and wishes to return to head their awaiting empires. Substantially, children and wards of business magnates and tycoons fall into this category and for this lot, the piece by the writer as well this response are both irrelevant. Then there is the crowd at the other end of the spectrum, whose only objective is to be on U.S. soil and who have no intention of looking back, come hell or high water. We have the Indian version of those who cross the Rio Grande. In their fixation to stay in the country, group two will adopt its own strategies to either integrate or isolate themselves in society, and to them, the cultural issue is only as disconcerting as their daily commuting problems. Indeed, some are strongly convinced of the net positive features prevailing in the U.S., and they will not be able to understand what the fuss is all about. A third group is in for a slightly longer haul, presumably until they make some money or reach some other milestone and intend to positively return. While on and off this group may feel the irritation of cultural imbalance, there is a subconscious resolution that deliverance is around the corner. Finally, we have the fourth group, which wants to stay longer, or even indefinitely, but is unable to make up its mind and the problem is localized here. They appear to be in a quest for the Holy Grail and should consider at the earliest whether they fall into group two or three.

I recollect reading about an incident in the life of Mahatma Gandhi. While practicing as a barrister in the U.K., it occurred to him that he would be able to operate better in London if he took some steps. Accordingly, he enrolled himself in three classes, one each for violin, elocution and dance. He reckoned that mastery over these would help him to merge seamlessly with English society. In his own words, he says that after some time, the bell of alarm rang in his mind over the insanity of his antics. Soon enough, he abandoned the entire exercise as a mental aberration. If he had persisted in these ventures, instead of independence, we may have gotten a mediocre violinist. A visit to his frugal ashram at Wardha will enlighten us on the power of simplicity. For that is where, clad in loin cloth and armed with just ahimsa, he demonstrated that a great objective -- and subordination of everything else to it -- can bring even an empire to heel.

and very interesting read about NRI Dillemma - To return or not!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

US '08 Elections

Election is an election and politicians are politicians. No difference what so ever whether its US or India.

Former Republican operative Allen Raymond tells Jon how he helped suppress votes on Election Day

anyways, I would vote(if I can) to Obama.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Happy Republic Day

make difference or die trying.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

You got Talent

you got see it to believe it and feel it. I got a fwd with this link. under the subject "don't judge by appearance"

Carphone salesman in British TV's 'You got talent' show, which is what american idol is based on. Paul Potts, a regular guy working as salesman in carphone warehouse, came into the show and did no one expected him to do... Sang Opera- to amaze the crowd and judges. I don't know opera well but iam talented enough to understand & appreciate that he sang with emotions and he got great voice.
He eventually won the program and went on to release his own record("One Chance").

World is full of talented people; lack-of-confidence and prejudging, is making so many other Paul-like vanish in the crowd. Hope this will help some of us to change if not in helping them atleast by not underestimating anyone.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Hitler’s Indian Army

If you were wonder why in cemetery near Le Touquet, northern France some Indians graves were next german in same shape/size and not that of Allied focus then you can find the answer in BBC documentary - Hitler’s secret Indian Army

We know Indian army was found to flight against British rule in India and how they aligned with Japan. But Both British & India locked away the details about “Free India Legion” alignment/involvement with Hilter.

Although Bose is right-wing activity he was not a extremist like Hitler. Creation for Indian National Army with the help of Hitler may not be common knowledge among us. As I struggle to reason out Indian army taking help someone from Hitler, I would only think— Its more of a case of enemy of enemy is friend. It’s no secret that INA fought the British troops in parts of Burma, Philippines, Japan and Indonesia. If one has to reflect strong comments that Subhash Bose took help from industrialized economy to achieve his goal- freeing India from British brutal rule.

Bose ofcourse wouldn’t be aware of SS true practices and Japan’s intentions when you asked for help. From enough historian evidence we now even British, Americans, good part of German people don’t know either. Britain infact went to german had talks with Hitler and turn blind eye about Poland. Its only when Hitler turned to Britain they fought. I fail to accept that Britain or Americans would have went with war with Hitler for human right reasons (like they ‘claim’ today for Iraq). They don’t care and nor did Vatican cared to stop or talk strong against Hitler while its was happening. Again, we do have enough historical evidence to interpret this.

Subhash Chandra Bose was a patriot, who had radically approach for india’s freedom but nevertheless his intentions was not to rule India but to free India from foreign rule. Soldiers who followed Bose were freedom fighters with version to liberate homeland. Rape can never be viewed only with civil right version. That would west’s version of exploiting commonwealth history for to hide its dirty past. afterall, we cannot forget British troops- using cannos to blew old men, raping women. And who can deny or forget Jallaianwala Bagh massacre or Komagata Maru.
If India would have won freedom Bose's way, no doubt today’s india might be (good or bad) different (/may be turkey or may be we had have been broken into different states). We would never know and can never make any judgment about the same.

I am very glad and proud about our past and the way we achieved our (Gandhi’s way) freedom.

I am not very nationalist nor do I doubt intention of today’s western populations and their way of democracy. It be stupid to ignore and turn blind eye for all the help we received/receiving from Britain, America and wilder international community. and ofcourse, I am not trying to justify 'so-called' wild rampage act for Free India Legion but what I don’t want is-- for historian to judge the past with very narrow one-side view. After all, it’s totally not correct to read British’s version of Indian history.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Relocation & Culture Shock…

As I face yet another relocation, convention with friend natural reached this topic and as always, I was bragging about my optimist outlook on relocations and so he suggested that I should pen down my thoughts about culture shock during relocations. I don’t claim to be expert to know the trick of the game but with experience of crossing 5different culture/language in past 6years, I can say my social extrovert attitude made things easier for me.

When relocating abroad, there is so much to think about, so much to do that invariably the departure date seems to come out of nowhere. One of the most important things, and unfortunately, the thing that is most often overlooked, is the emotional and very personal reaction from all those involved during the adjustment to life in any new country and its culture.

Culture refers to the total way of life of a people. It includes everything they may think, do, say, and make – its customs, language, artefacts, shared attitudes, values and feelings. Culture is learned and inherited and passed down through the generations and it influences the way we think, speak and behave. Culture shock is not poor adjustment. It has little to do with strength of character. It is the result of stress overload, which is caused by a multitude of unpredictable incidents. we don't know how to behave, actions don't get the expected responses, and we don't understand the messages we are getting. Culture shock is the disorientation, which causes perpetual stress.

After a fairly brief honeymoon or tourist phase readjustment suddenly becomes a little more difficult due to culture shock. It is predictable and should be expected in any new country. Some tasks are challenging; accustomed resources aren't available, communication is difficult (for example, we don't get the jokes). These feelings build up over time and at some point start causing distress.

Communication problems and the accumulation of little stressors start challenging our own values and attitudes. Glorification of our own country, homesickness and missing friends and family can make this a very difficult time.

With time, greater understanding and appreciation of the new culture, values and attitudes are gained. We have more insight into our own culture and this allows us to adapt more easily to the new one. Once full adjustment is reached, both our home country culture and the new one have become natural and normal. Sometime we make unavoidable comparison to adapt and pick/modify our thinking process, values. We become truly multi-cultural person (greatest outcome of relocation – open mind, tolerance,)

Recently I took couple break from work to spend time with family and I understood, coming back home can bring its own problem. There may be unexpected changes at home and make you feel like a stranger on your own(/past) territory. There may be lifestyle changes and a need to adjust to that. Repatriation can be more dramatic than culture shock because it is not expected. The more successful the time overseas has been, the more difficult the repatriation process. Adjustment to coming home can take up to two years. New values might make it necessary to re-evaluate lifestyles, however it is always important to integrate the overseas experience into our new lives.

Expatriate or repatriate, be open and give change to strangers. may be you will be surprised, some of them might become your good friend of tomorrow.

Remind yourself— most things in Life, place, people, work,… is (mostly)our choice and we have to make most out it.

Monday, January 14, 2008


when you think things are going just as fine,
and wild winds chases away the sweet rain,
comes a time in every once life,
you wonder if you're sane.

Hopes make the world look gold,
or that is what I've been told.

Theres so many things in this life
That we can not explain

Funny how things fell in place
how inspite these transparent emotions
I managed to stay composed and serene
inside somehow there's this little light
when will it shine to blind you
of all these questions all I can answer is a smile :)
a mask that will hide what's true inside

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Book Review....Updated

managed to post back dated entries to cover book of that month...

Happy Days by Laurent Graff

Freakonomics - Hidden side of everything


Sunday, January 06, 2008

Back Online... Happy 2008

Even with months break from work... family, friends, zyoptix laser eye surgery, low speed internet connections kept me away from blogs..(excuses)

I never thought, I will make an opportunity to take months break from worklife to spend time with family to revisit past life. Lucky me, without making too much thinking and special considerations, I had option to spend couple of months at home between jobs. This was longest ever break I had since my school days.

Its feel great to revisit old lifestyle,..spending hours-hours in beach just like I used too,.. visitied friends in different cities, took parents to short trip aboard, and I made short trip to new country, reevaluated/re-allocated investment portfolio,.. found decent onine/home delivery DVD rental in chennai, as usual troubled parents & bros,..played lots of chess,.. O yes past couple of months had been (slow-phased but)eventful. ofcourse, Mom's love translated into 7+kgs and now somehow I have to keep the love and shred the fat.
I still don't have regular internet yet, might take couple some more time but I hope to be here atleast couple of hours every week(hopefully).

Here's to the bright New Year and a fond farewell to the old,
To the things that are yet to come and to the memories we hold.

Happy 2008 and beyond...

To divide one's life by years is of course to tumble into a trap set by our own arithmetic. The calendar consents to carry on its duall wall-existence by the arbitrary timetables we have drawn up in consultations with those permanent commuters, Earth and the Sun. But we, unlike trees need not grow annual rings.