Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Somebody once said Hinduism is not a religion; it is a way of life. While searching for the meaning of Soundarya Lahiri I came across some verses. I am amazed how such simple texts have such profound meaning. Most of the slokas have very simple meaning, simple enough for a common man to understand and yet for one who wants to dig into it, he can find numerous interpretations and deep philosophical meaning.

My personal favorite has always been

“ Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavanthu. Om Shanti Shanti Shanti”.

Simply translated it just means “Let everybody in the world be happy. Let Peace prevail”. Now that’s obvious, all of us want each other to be happy. But look into it deeper, it says “loka samastha”… everybody in the world, no geographical boundaries, no religious boundaries, no ethnic boundaries, no language boundaries…. Only a person with a pure heart without any tinge of hatred against anybody can wish that. If only every one of us thought this way wouldn’t this world be a beautiful place?

I like another one from the Isopanishad

“isavasyam idam sarvam

yat kinca jagatyam jagat

tena tyaktena bhunjitha

ma grdhah kasya svid dhanam”

Direct Translation: “Everything animate or inanimate that is within the universe is controlled and owned by the Lord. One should therefore accept only those things necessary for himself, which are set aside as his quota, and one should not accept other things, knowing well to whom they belong”.

Can anything be simpler than that? Accept what is yours; do not accept what is not yours. Nowhere has it said that you will rot in hell if you don’t do this or that. Everything is self controlled. Knowingly or unknowingly if you do take something which is not yours, you will somehow have to give it away. With this there is no “fear” factor. Everything is controlled by him and he will lead us to realization.

Though I don’t deny that entry level Hinduism is filled with superstitions and blind beliefs, once you come out of that circle and start thinking independently you will realize it’s the most democratic way of finding God. You go find God however you feel like. Like a treasure hunt. Each clue will lead you to the next level. I don’t see any other religion giving so much of freedom. Maybe because of this depth, this level of maturity in the religion has helped us survive even after decades of influence by other religions and constant efforts to convert us all.

An American colleague once asked me ‘How do I convert to Hinduism”. I said just start thinking independently and freely. You can be a Hindu even if you pray to Jesus everyday.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Human Nature

Human nature is sure weird. Come to think of it I don't even know if its weird or confusing or straightforward (as human psychologists claim) or whatever...

Case1: My mom, a few years back had a slip disc and that troubles her every now and then. But you should have seen her during my sis's wedding. Everything was perfectly managed and her energy levels were on an all time high. Warnings from any number of family members to take care of herself fell on deaf ears. The very next day after the wedding her pains bounced back ;-). I know that people rise up to the situation and she also had to do it as it was her own daughters wedding and all that.... so are all ailments just in our mind? Can we overcome just anything and everything just by being strong in our mind?

Case2: Unfortunately my mom-in-law met with an accident recently and her left hand little finger had to be amputed. She also has a fracture in her wrist and so has a cast on her left hand. She is able to use only her right hand for now. But this has made her over sensitive. She insists on doing work with her one hand. If somebody offers to help she gets upset. My sister-in-law is home to help her take bath and all... but if she tries to overdo the helping part, she gets back immediately. She not only wants to do her own work, but also wants to do other house hold work. She used to completely manage the kicthen before and so now not being able to do that must have hurt her confidence really bad. Also I noticed one more thing. The moment people become too "sympathetic" she gets defensive. P and me tried to tell this subtely to my sister-in-laws not to greive about the bad thing that has happened in front of my mil. But then can't blame them as well... its their mother and they can't see that she is suffering, tries to help her as much as they can and inturn get scoldings ;-)
Now this is also a case of mind game. Empathysing with her physical pain, I can't help but feel that this "insecurity" and all is just again in her mind.

Case3: P. My most fav character for analysis. Its almost 9 years since I know him, but even now I can't predict how he will react in certain situations. He reacts in totally different ways for the same situation/condition on different days. Like for example, the other day I mentioned I was feeling very tired becasue of all this extra work (office, college, home and ofcourse P), he was very sympathetic... said that this is all temporary and from the next day he even got up with me at 5:30 in the morning to help me in the kitchen. Now thats a starightforward reaction from a caring husband. But then hold on.. thats not the end of the story. On last friday, I had to skip breakfast as I got late for college and had to rush. We were celebrating "Paksha" on that day in our house so when I came back from college in the afternoon there were guests at home, so couldn't have lunch also on time.. finally when I had lunch at 4pm I felt really really tired and had to sleep off for a few minutes to be able to walk again. That evening when I told that it happened this way, he shouted back at me saying he can't help it if I don't have food on time. He is not to be blamed. He cannot spoon feed me all the time and all that..... All I expected from him this time also was the same old reaction you know... just say that "oho... did it happen like that? make sure you get up 20 mins early from next time and eat breakfast..". That's it, nothing more, nothing less. But no, all I get is shoutings...
What should we call this. People behave differently in different situations is completely understandable, but why do people behave so differently for same situations?

P.S: have noticed that I analyse things a bit too much, like the above paragraph. I can't just move on thinking that yes people behave like this and that's the be all and end all. I always end up analysing anything and everything. Any tried and tested way to stop this tendency?

Monday, September 01, 2008

Run Run.. While you can

Last three months have been hectic to say the least. MBA at an “elite” institution has its disadvantages. My house is in a mess. My book (of the novels kind) reading has taken back seat. My hobbies (of what little was left) have no time. I don’t remember the last time I took an oil bath. On the whole, my life is in a mess :-). Last weekend marked the end of first term. One step (out of 10) closer to the black cap….

Mini-shark got married and I could devote only 5 days of my precious time for the wedding preparations which included attending the wedding as well… Couldn’t attend the second reception which happened in Chennai coz I had the term exams on the same day.

Looking back, is this what I asked for? Of course there are advantages. In mini-sharks wedding half the attention was on me… not only for being the bride’s sister but for also doing MBA from so-and-so institution ;-) Apart from this false attention, the learning is good. The way I look at things are different now. I never could understand one single word in my company’s annual report. But now I can decipher almost everything and also give suggestions… if only they asked for it ;-)

Strategy has helped me understand each company’s or its industry’s position. I know which business is attractive and which is risky. Though one might argue a lot of people can do this without a degree, I can substantiate my answers and not just base it on intuition :-)

Economics has taught me why the oil market behaves the way it does. Why the local dentist sometimes makes more money than an established dental clinic.

There is no doubt that it’s good what I am doing, after all its burning a whole in my pocket and it better be worth it!

I can’t help but wonder about the whole process of higher education. No doubt it makes us better intellectuals. Note the word “intellectuals”… that’s it. Not better human beings.

Even at this level,

- People lie about how they fared badly in the exams… but the scores say a different story!

- During class discussions each one is trying to snub the other and make a point himself/herself. It’s as if the world will come to an end if I didn’t make my point.

- People still hide their assignments till the last moment.

*Sigh* and I thought “Vidya dadaaathi vinayam”. Frankly I don’t see any difference in the behavioral part from what I saw in middle school to what I see now.

So these degrees sure help you earn money. You can now easily interact with fellow intellectuals. You can now write papers on global issues and can now advise one or two (those who care to listen) about the +ves and –ves of their decision and blah blah blah.

BUT, do these degrees in any way help you make this world a better place to live in? My over imaginative mind can’t help but think… If 50 years down the line when everyone in this world can afford higher education, will this world become a place where everyone is trying to snub the other, where each day is a competition, each one is trying to outdo the other… it’s a scary thought!

This reminds me… somewhere I read “The unfortunate part about the rat race is that at the end of the race, even the winner is a RAT...” How true!!!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Hello? Can you hear me?

There is "strike" trend these days.... For any problem, all we hear is that people are on the streets protesting about something or the other. Usually its the general public that suffers. Whether the strikers achieve their objective or not is case specific, the inconvenience caused in-general to everybody cannot go unnoticed. Few examples:
  • Punjabis halted rail transport in Punjab to protest against the firings in Mumbai.
  • Mandya farmers are famous for blocking the Bangalore-Mysore road for any small/medium/large problem.
  • Gujrars halted trains, burnt buildings, attacked officials etc, to get reservation.
  • The farmers had to come on roads to ask for fertilizers and one even got killed in the process! (I personally believe that this was politically motivated, but never mind that).
What does this mean? For me it means two things; one, we as Indians have generally become very aggressive overnight. For everything we come on the road and fight. We simply don't believe in getting justice the right/legal way at all. Two, the governing body (state, center whatever) has become so deaf that they won't hear us unless we come and shout on the streets. Or the red tape is so much, even if there is justice given after some 100 years it is absolutely useless simply because justice delayed is justice denied.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Belated Celebrations

Wonder why are we celebrating a world cup match which we won some 25 years ago! I mean come on... do we ever celebrate a scientific discovery done yesterday like this? There is a diamond studded bat on auction and the proceedings of which will go to the players! I wonder why? They are all stinkingly rich anyways. If at least the proceedings went to charity it was ok.
They won the world cup match.. very well and good. You congratulate them "then"... all the more well and good. You shower them with goodies... and do whatever. But celebrating it after 25 years sounds very funny and "cheap". Its as if we cannot win anymore so we might as well celebrate "one" that we won some eons ago!
I love the game.. but I hate the people in the game. Its becoming suffocatingly crickety these days!!!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Back to 3 Bs

As I had mentioned earlier in one of my posts, I am now back to "part-time" college. Today was the first day and it felt amazingly refreshing to be back with Books, Benches and Breaks :)
Living upto my reputation (my BE friends would know this) I reached the first class of first day "right-on-time". Meaning 2 mins past 8am when the classes had started at 8 am ;-)
Today being the first day I guess the prof let me in, but I fear his previous reputation says otherwise.
The hand outs were given.. some two huge books of case-studies. I wonder who really has the time and most of all patience to prepare all these :-/ Anyway that aside we are assigned "designated places" in the class. Apparently there is some weightage for class participation and it helps the profs if we sit in the same place everyday. Now this arrangement is done in alphabetical order... che! didn't get a chance to six next to that hunk! I thought like in school they would make the seating arrangements according to our height.. and was hoping against hope that I would get to sit next to him... (though conventionally a guy of my height wouldn't qualify to be a hunk. but what the hell! he is good looking!) alas! the profs thought otherwise.
So shark felt nice opening the crisp new books... writing down notes and keeping the additional books in the niche under the table.
The only thing I didn't like about my class was as usual the "over-smart/know-it-all" guys. Seriously pray tell me where do they come from? Today was the "first" day in accounts class... the prof is not even done with his own introduction.. and there is this guy who already starts asking questions after proudly declaring he already read the first two chapters... bah! The prof gave him a fitting reply "the first lesson of being a good manager is to learn to be patient!". Suits him! This breed of people will be there everywhere.. now they also have the advantage of being "experienced" *sigh*.

One more quite interesting part was that I did not feel sleepy in any of the class. I felt hungry though! The class gets over by 1pm.. and my system is programmed to eat lunch everyday at 12... so 1 hour delay was too much... stomachy.. get used to it now!
The "interesting" part in this is that I didn't sleep properly yesterday night; courtesy night show of "Dashavathaaram". Is that a movie in the first place? I went with such great expectations seeing all the rave reviews that it had got... and what did I get in return? 3 hours of complete torture! If I could describe this movie in one line "Its a self obsessed kamal + Tamizh fanatic movie". Imagine the whole world somehow knows Tamizh......bah!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Kannada is IN

Have you ever noticed? The number of Kannada songs played in the FM radio stations has dramatically increased. Before fever 104 was playing mostly Hindi and some English songs, but slowly it turned the Kannada way. The RJs started speaking in Kannada and the number of Kannada songs increased. Radio city has suddenly changed its face, from the past 1 month or so its mostly playing Kannada songs as against an hour of Kannada program. I wonder what triggered this change. I read somewhere that Radio Mirchi (which was incidentally one of the first channels to becomes pro-Kannada) wooed most of the listeners its way because of the Kannada flavour. I feel except for few parts of Bangalore where there is huge population of cosmopolitan crowd... hardly anybody else would listen to Hindi and English songs. Also off late the Kannada movie industry has suddenly woken up; as though it was just in deep slumber like kumbhakarana... the movies are better, the songs are even better; It has even managed to attract the biggies from bollywood.
Though I am proud of the fact that Kannada movie industry is doing so good... This pushing of Kannada through your nose is tad getting too much. I love the new songs no doubt about it.. but I can't hear the same song thrice in a span of 2 hours. If you tune into any station between 5:30 and 8:30 in the evening (at least that's when I listen to radio) you can hear the same old songs... "Jinke marina", "ninindale", "mugaaru maleye"... etc etc.., How much ever you like a song how many times can you hear it in a day?

Saturday, May 10, 2008

When a protective hand abuses you ...

I am touching on a very sensitive topic today. It was the shock of my life when I came to know that one of the girls I know has been sexually abused from a long time... when she was as young as 12. I am still trying to come to terms with the news. I know her family very well. They are very cultured and very well-to-do kind of family. She is hardly 16 now... and the culprit is none other than her own grand father. Yes the one she used to adorably call as "Thaatha". She is scared to death now to be in the house alone with that man. Initially she had not realised what has been happening to her. She thought he was just being "nice" to her. When the "niceness" crossed the limits she knew something was wrong. The man (I hate to call him even that. I would prefer to use the B word for him!!!!) threatened her that if she ever told this to her parents he will get them divorced. Being in a naive age she believed him. She shut her mouth. But this obviously affected her studies... pray tell me who can study well in such a state of mind? But then she had to bear the brunt this time as well... her parents scolded her for not studying properly. She started getting seizures.
She finally poured all her vows to me today. It is beyond my imagination that such a thing can happen in such a close proximity. I have somehow managed to convince her to focus on studies and try to avoid this man as much as possible. She has finally told her father about it a month back when her grandpa was visiting her uncle. Have to see now whether her father will let his father come home again and stay with them even after knowing everything or will he not.
I am trying to solve this to the best of my ability. I hope she gets the strength and confidence to come out of it and make a nice life for herself.
I wish the man rots in hell!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

I am back!

Finally after a long self imposed hiatus... I am back! Basically had been very busy with lots of things happening around, a series of exams, project pressures.. the same old stuff.
Well, so now I am finally back to the blogging world. I know none of you have missed me or anything... but I missed this virtual world.
As the wise men say.. let the show re-begin.
Some updates just to keep you all informed:
- mini-shark is getting married in another 4 months. (Pavan you had your chance.. .missed it!)
- I am finally going to pursue higher studies... after really trying n number of times ;-)
- Married life is as lively as ever with the number of fights increasing exponentially ... ;-)
- Work was pretty hectic till the last week. Finally getting a breather now. Will resume the same old hectic schedule in another 2 weeks when another release comes along.
- Too many social gatherings and parties happening around.
Well that's the update in short for the previous 6 months. Will be back again soon