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Showing posts from July, 2011

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…