Skip to main content


Showing posts from 2011

Clarity of Purpose & Path and Continuity of Efforts

I have always tried to zero in on the necessary and maybe also sufficient conditions to be successful. Successful both in terms of personal benchmarks and also in terms of universal paradigms of being healthy, happy and productive.
For many years I have had many hypothesis. Some those were junked quickly, and some others dumped after being held dearer for a longer period. Very recently, I seem to have further fine tuned my understanding and like is most issues – settled for the simplified and almost clichéd message.

Despite the obviousness of the message – I wanted to write about it again. Because it is probably missed by many, if not most. Certainly during long patches by yours truly. The reason for writing, is not to try to further justify the message. But to introspect aloud as to how many of us can miss them less often.

Clarity of Purpose & Path – howsoever easy it seems, it is a wily animal – as I have found. It is very easy to point out when friend or a family member or a colle…

What ails OJEE’s e-counseling system?

We regularly hear of scary stories about aircrafts. Ditto with Indian Railways. In the last few months we are witnessing massive protests regarding widespread corruption in the Indian democratic system. What is our reaction to such situations? Do we ban air travel, stop plying of trains, or invite some other country / person to run the country. No way. Drastic steps are never the solution to a problem.
That’s the essence and relevance to the headline.

Many well-meaning stakeholders of the engineering education in the state say that the e-counseling is the prime cause and should be done away with. The solution lies in strengthening the loop holes, rather than throwing the baby along with the bath tub.
The e-counseling system was mooted in the first place about 5 years earlier to make it simpler for the students – who used to travel from different places to Bhubaneswar to get admissions in engineering colleges. In the process they and their guardians incurred significant costs and went t…

Engineering and Other Technical Education Colleges In Odisha Are In Dire Straits

The number of engineering colleges have more than doubled in the last five years, however students appearing for engineering joint entrance examinations have not grown at the same pace. As a result, all engineering colleges [read those affiliated to technical universities] are on the back foot to start with.

What has made things much worse for them, is that only 14,000 students have taken admission after the first phase of admissions. This is far less than that students who took admissions last year and just about thirty per-cent of the intake capacity of Biju Patnaik University of Technology [BPUT] affiliated engineering colleges. This is clearly certainly unsustainable.

If one examines objectively, it is obvious that a part of the problem is because of the larger issues of employability of engineering students – which ails colleges from all over the country. The other part of the problem are clearly local factors, which have been building up over the past few years.

The first problem,…

Funding Factor – Diverting Focus From Academics

Thanks to statutory anomalies, a very large proportion higher education institutes in India are promoted by group of individuals or SME entrepreneurs. AICTE guidelines for starting an Institute mislead the first generation promoters on the need for funds, while corporates who understand the capital intensity shy away from the business because of the convoluted mechanisms involved to realize returns.

Most greenfield Higher Education projects will be able to recover the initial investments only in about seven years. In that sense this is a sector with a longer payback period. Also in the first few years of the institute’s life, it does not operate at full student strength [and concomitantly student revenues]. However, financing institutions in India – as they are wont to - are giving principal and interest moratorium of about 12-18 months on the loans extended to such projects. Interestingly, in the initial years, the need for capital investments in also the highest. As a result of which…

Human Re-engineering – The Path Less Trodden

‘Human instinct is correct to significant extent, that is the reason human race has survived all these years. However the very fact there is widespread strife, distrust and one-upmanship proves that mankind is not living optimally and hence many significant instincts are grossly mis-aligned with self-interest’

That is the very root of this article. On one hand the human body is an incredibly amazing piece of engineering. No other machine which we use in our daily lives, can come anywhere close to this creation. Parts of the body are inert to the most powerful acids, while other parts are sensitive to a minute ruffle. The cells independently can live for only a very small duration, whereas individual humans can live beyond 100 years and the human race is already a million plus years. Some parts can be as long as a few kilometers whereas the human height is around 180 cm. Some humans can eat only bland food is small quantities – anything else will cause them indigestion; similarly for so…

Increasing Repo Rates Will Just Not Work!!!

Inflation in India has been at ugly levels for a good many months now. Prolonged inflation has started pinching the country. After being within acceptable limits for about ten plus years since the middle of 1990s [which roughly coincides with a significant part of tenure of the NDA government and the first half of the first term of the current UPA government] it has gone topsy-turvy.

So what do the policy makers do in such a situation? In the classical macro-economics paradigm one has the monetary policy and the fiscal policy as the two levers to control inflation. The fiscal policy inevitably has a lag effect from the time of policy pronouncement to the time of visible / measurable impact on the economy.

Therefore, the short term solution seekers that we are, the onus is invariably on the RBI to tweak the monetary policy.

That is what has happened. The RBI has increased the repo rate 11 times since April 2010 in an attempt to mop up the surplus funds in the economy and hence reduce de…

Having Two Birthdays

Gone are those days when only very organized had the opportunity to religiously dig into their diaries and earn the delight to spread the bday word [or date]. No longer could forget your own birthdays and miss out on the party [because in the 20 century sometimes no one else remembered to ask for one – unless you announced it].

These days apart from the Ministry of External Affairs, Income Tax Department, Transport Department, ICSEs/CBSEs, Universities everyone else including banks, LIC companies, hotels, airlines, credit card companies and a host of other organizations religiously send Bday wishes/sms-es before the end of the day. The day isn’t far off when the Govt depts. Above also compete to wishes earlier than the rest.

To add to that, thanks to FB and other collaboration enablers, there are whole host of wishes - from friends, family, extended family, acquaintances – from every nook of the world. No wonder, everyone gets to feel like a star - as if the whole world was waiting to w…

What is Corruption?

It is good that Indians of all hue [white, green and black] and geography are coming out to raise their voice against corruption. At least it is a significant deviation from the typical behavior of looking the other way or sometimes not even noticing an anomaly!

So, what this means is, large sections of people are feeling cheated by the large scale and institutionalized commissions and omissions. We are feeling the heat and for once want to give it back to those who are apparently generating it.

But what is this thing called ‘corruption’ and where does it come from? My understanding corruption is simply the ugly side of the coin called convenience. The urge to let convenience bypass our values. To honk and scare away a passerby or a co-user of a public road, to jump a queue, to pay 500 rupees extra to an agent get a train ticket – knowing fully well he will grease the ticket position up, to want a subordinate to suck-up and wait for us for a meeting, to not let another person complet…

Education System – One of the Pillars of USA Success Story

The first serious glimpse I had of the higher education system in the US was when I read the book A Beautiful Mind [] by Sylvia Nassar. This book was the biography of John Forbes Nash Jr, the super brilliant mathematician who won the Nobel Prize for Economics in 1994 for his insightful models in Game Theory.

Despite reading the book more than a decade earlier, I remember the discussions related to who’s who of the early 20th century Mathematics world, including the super-human Albert Einstein. The life of Nash in Princeton and MIT were both surreal and inspiring. Of course much before that experience, I had the opportunity to read an easy-paced book – Surely, you must be joking Mr. Feynman, the eminently readable jokes and pranks of Richard Feynman in 1965, which included his student days. He was another Princeton alumni. Much later I read Iacocca brag about his exploits in college. In another crazy coincidence, it turns out that he too, wen…

One for New York

What really do I know about NY to write about it? Nothing! But then NY has a definite chemistry. A chemistry that is different from the other places I visited in the US and the rest of the world. The fact that I had spent one month at Idaho before visiting NY heightened my fascination. Idaho is on a different planet altogether. It is just coincidental that it shares the same national anthem with NYC.

If you have been to Mumbai, then you have been to Shanghai, or the most fascinating city of any country. Mumbai, Shanghai, Casablanca, Nairobi, Singapore: all have a common theme to sing – even though they would inevitably fare differently in the BQ [busy or business quotient] Every such metro rises above the extant context. The country’s temporal and spatial context. Such cities shock first – especially if you are used to a sleepier place – but in due course we start getting into the groove.

NY fits the bill too. NY however is not just another numero uno. It is the super numero uno, the q…

Cricket’s Numero Uno by Providence – Might have missed in 2010 and could have made it by 2000.

India’s making it to the top of the Test Charts was a due payback for cricket fanatic citizens who had switched allegiance to cricket en-masse in the late 70’s / early 80’s.

Although it was long overdue, thanks to MSD and his men, Indians feel at the top of the world because of this feat. There have been many high points during the sojourn. The periodic Very Very Special innings; ‘Ton’dulkar’s tons, Nawab of Nazafgargh’s blitzkriegs, ‘Serious’ Consistency at the top by his partner, the Wall lent solidity as usual. The rise of the ‘Zahir’ with adorable and romantic pace bowling. And of course the survival of the tenacious Turbanator. Do I need to mention the Mr Cool himself marshaling from behind the stumps and off the field? Ever improving himself and ever encouraging the team. The think tank of the rise of the Phoenix.

With all these and many more, it seems inevitable that India had to touch the pinnacle of Test Cricket. Kind of a birth right. But, I cant help but wonder that we just …

Life Before Meditation

Meditation is not something esoteric and reserved for the saints from the Himalayas. The Samurai warrior is just as spiritually evolved as the ‘Zen’ of Motorcycle Maintenance. The wonderful gymnast who scores perfect 10s at will, and the neighbourhood shopkeeper who apparently never makes a false move would be equally adept at objectively observing their individual selves. [which is what being spiritual is all about].

In that sense, I was wrong when I suggested [in my blog Lets De-addict] that meditation is the only hope for de-addiction. The first step of any de-addiction is to envision and review our actions vis-a-vis our pre-defined outcomes [people, numbers, mental sketches]. Any sustained gap between an ideated state and the actual state is a case for de-addiction.

All of us do it – when keeping track of finances spent or earned or while tracking time as we try to meet a deadline; at times we also track our skills acquired through self-administered tests. This approach serves as a …

The Strife?

Almost every moment,
Someone somewhere
Is narrating a piercing pain
Sometimes trivializing it
Sometimes exaggerating it

But, strife there is
Almost Every moment,
For someone somewhere
As there aint any smoke
Without Fire

But sometimes I feel
The narration is made bigger
Than the pain. It
Intends to enfeeble. Would be
Satisfied to permanently victimize.

But why is it, I believe
That despite, the ‘gory’ Strife!
That the ‘victim’ will rise above
The ashes of the ‘neutral’ narration
And the shame the rest of us

Why is it, that I believe
There is hope beyond bloodshed
Despite war and blood and tears
For tens of millenniums in this world
Why do I believe that this Strife! - is false.

Why do I feel
It is contrived
And will die
Its own death

July 28, 2011

Surprise, Surprises!!

America didn’t surprise me at all one level. It is like a good movie with good reviews. That is, one’s thoughts are already moulded before he/she watches the movie, and thus the experience of watching the movie is already pre-determined.

That is the main reason why the country as a whole didn’t surprise me –until I dug deeper into my psyche and got out of the selective view of world I was comparing with. There were a variety of things that were surprising, [read impressive] on their own. But interestingly, in my pre-determined notion, I did not have a portrayal of a country any different than what I experienced. Hence I could not appreciate or assimilate the amount thought, sweat and integrity that went to build the country.

A country in a short span of under 250 years has institutionalized processes – in a wide range of areas – that have raised the bar of citizen / community convenience to an extraordinarily high level. That is just stupendous. The impressive list includes electionee…

Confused Christening

When we write an article, do we give a title based on the content? Or, do we weave the content to suit the title? This is the conundrum many a non-writer [or do writers also face the problem?] would have faced and will continue to face in the future. How much do we let our thoughts wander in creative freedom versus how much do we restrict our written matter to areas that would interest a particular theme and/or readership.

Sometimes, a theme that I want to write upon, is embedded in so many different and almost invisible nooks of my surprised mind, that I don’t know in what shape they will extricate themselves into my consciousness and hence into keyed in words. Most of the times, I have a clear picture of how much vague my article will not get and hence decide the title upfront to give me a boundary to focus on. However there are occasions, such as the one described earlier, when am very unsure [rather, surprised] about the content to be sure enough of my title. Even in such cases, I …

The Irrationality of Interpersonal Dynamics

The Irrationality of Interpersonal Dynamics The Irrationality of Interpersonal Dynamics

Do you sometimes find yourself being too nice [when you would have been happy, had others been just frank with you in a similar situation], or go out of your way to help others [when you would have been happier to have left alone fending for yourself in a similar situation]? Do you find yourself giving large doles – literally or figuratively [less than people much more endowed than you]?

If yes – kudos for stretching yourself that extra bit, in the interest of larger community. This is most certainly a product of an inner urge to improve life around you. But step back for a moment. In the process of helping others, do you sometimes get stressful and uncomfortable to the point where your own peace of mind is threatened/compromised?

That is the crux of the topic. I am assuming that all of us must have experienced such a situation. Sometimes [or oftentimes] this behavior of extending oneself to others b…

Lets De-addict!

A couple of days back, I wondered if I could add something to the lexicon. Albeit it would like putting old wine into a new bottle. We have lots of fancy terms already in the organizational development and self-help ready reckoner lists – like comfort zones, conditionings, stroking, blind areas, self –emancipation, self awareness, SQ so on and on.

Why not add one more. Something which would ride the crest of fads for a few moments at least ;). May be a much longer duration in posterity - after some researcher digs it out during her/his literature surveys.

During one of my inner wanderings it dawned that the fuel of our views & phews!, methods & madness, personalities & perspectives are but our own addictions. These get us chugging along in our lives. Many of these addictions [like good habits] lead us towards the path of self fulfillment and happiness. But most human beings [including most of the legends] in the history of mankind have lived upto their own potential only to …

Good Day for Football !

Been a while since I have blogged. Didnt realise we are down to the last half of the month, and I need to start playing catch up all over once again. History repeats too often, doesnt it.

Well there were a few topics which I wanted to write upon [interestingly all triggered post reading a contemporary sports story], but somehow when I was about to start writing there was this phone call or the mail that popped up from nowwhere.

Nonetheless here we go, thanks to an early start and to another good read on TOI sports page. [People who follow my blogs – no well, those are the only pages of a newspaper which keep my attention spans for than a few blinks]. Enough of the preface?? Ok :)

There have been 4 real! upsets in the past 12-48 hours in the football world. This is smashing news. Ofcos I have always been a die-hard supporter of the wannabes and underdogs [and call them whatever else] in all sports alll over the world. But the glee factor today is also becos, I feel sporting success is a e…

Come 2011...and history repeats itself...

Come July 2011....and the history repeats itself..."This year July has 5 fridays 5 saturdays and 5 sundays. This happens once every 823 years. This is called money bags. So copy this to your status and money will arrive within 4 days. Based on Chinese philosophy of Feng Shui."...last year the story did rounds in Oct..

dont forget to read...a note on this @

I am pretty sure [and simple arithmetic corroborates]....that this occurs more often than once in 823 years....please do not copy/fwd such messages....and waste ur and other times...:)...till u check 823 years past calendars to be pretty sure...

sorry for pricking ur money bags!!! :P

Jun 29, 2011
ps: next jul with 5 f,s,s comes on 2016...b/w 2011-2100 both yrs included....we have 14 times such a thing is happening...such much for once in 823 yrs....feng
jul 2,2011

Downtime at Detroit

After six odd of weeks of counting the to-dos on an almost daily basis, the prospect of doing nothing was quite appealing. That was how the 3 days at Detroit were planned. Despite being secretly aware of the inevitable spoilers, we were looking forward to the opportunity to set the clock aside, become almost anti-social [and I don’t need to play any part to be that] and allow time to meander meaninglessly.
That is what we had aimed for and that is what we got in full. So much so that this Detroit note could have easily been christened ‘An expanse’ or ‘Letting time go still’. It was neither energetic nor too quiet. Detroit [or should I say Troy] was the balm for flattening the residual mental spikes. Any flutter was left solely to the realm of the heart!

Lara and I finally got to spend some quality time together. Lazy walks [not quite early in the morning] and long talks [not too late into the night]. We were happy to let beads of time string themselves together; in their own unhurried …

My Tryst with Hemingway

I would suspect that Hemingway, for a bit under two-thirds of my two-score years, has been in my psyche – though in varying degrees --from the active idolizing to the [oxymoronic!] sub-conscious influence. Hemingway is certainly among the few people who have caputuredmy imagination somewhat early in life, and he has remained in my consciousness ever since. Not so much because I have read him so voraciously [he has written too much for my lazy self-indulgent reading]; but because of the series of reveries that he has triggered with every passage that I ever read either written by or of him. In these reveries, I often played the hero[es] whom I probably wanted to emulate.

Re-reading the preceding (complex!) sentences, I really think that is closest description of why I got that flutter within when I read anything by/of him or heard anything about him. This is the same reason why I experience a similar flutter when I cross the paths of a few other people. This is perhaps why people have …

Kuldip Nayar on Emergency

i picked this up from a forward chain it goes..

Transparency in system

22 June 2011

*Between The Lines ~ Kuldip Nayar*

*The new generation must understand that today’s non-governance or
mis-governance is the fallout of what Indira Gandhi had done 36 years ago by
destroying an established democratic order *

How do you make the new generation relate to Emergency imposed some 36 years
ago this week? I have been asked this question many a time. The Congress
government will not talk about it as long as the Indira Gandhi-Sonia Gandhi
dynasty ~ the guilty lot ~ is in power. It considers any criticism of
Gandhi,s autocratic rule during that period an affront to the family.

The BJP, which too had gone through the rigours of autocratic rule at that
time, does not understand the ethos of liberalism. The party,s religious
identity is an antithesis to what India stands for. And, scholars are not

hail rahul

".....but ego and anger are like cholesterol and sugar in the blood; eventually they will get you...."

folk - this is something i had to share....this is what harsha bhogle wrote in his blog abt rahul, post sabina win.....earlier in the morn..i read something which i read the rahul said, post the win...n i wanted to blog abt it....but the day has started...n it seems the blog idea will quite likely day w/o being 'unmuddled'.. so lemme do with one of those very far n very few in between fb status updates instead....and get closer to my 1 page a day :P

coming back to this just struck a insight i believe cdnt hv been put in a manner....that cant but be better explain..

hv a great day!!

ps: rahul had talked to weather the storm....just holding ground when the red cherry, whirled by an inspired pacer aided by a conditions,..whizzes just needs to hang around....conditions will get better...loose deliveries will be bolwed..…