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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Books Read in 2013

Literature demands something, not just from the reader but from society at large. It demands not just that we watch or cheer together, play or dance together, but that we take the time to understand one another. It demands that we create the institutions and the time to make this possible. It demands that we put in the effort. And it demands, most of all, that we agree that it is worthwhile to do so. - Hasan Altaf

History has showed us that leisured aristocracies tend to become bored, hedonistic and eventually decadent. This proves that power is not enough. One must set goals to excel in them, even if done slowly. I had set such goal and polish mental agility through the habit of reading. Reading books is an exercise in self knowledge and carries risk. These thought provoking books estranges our familiar landscape of settled beliefs into strange wonderland (may be dystopia) through new viewpoints. Good books open windows through mysterious ways. I had already listed down books by different authors of various regions, languages and backgrounds in  a wish list.

There are two articles worth mentioning here. I read about "Let them eat cake" phrase at the age of eight in a history book. It was the supposedly spoken by "a great princess" upon learning that the peasants had no bread and further events lead to the french revolution. That phrase always remained in back of the mind since that day. The Necessity of Atheism was an astounding article that I read as a young engineering student. It blow my world apart with the power of the words. The religion and society never remained same for me .

While the reading journey has been going on, it has been quite fulfilling till now. I grew old and wise with each book that I read. I enjoy rich earthy humor, satire and cultural essays. I even felt nostalgic with the death of Christopher Hitchens and Peter Roebuck. I miss their strong words, remarkable anecdotes and deep analysis. And. I found new gems like Ian Chappel, Martin Crowe and Pratap Bhanu Mehta.

Many giants of Hindi literature are still untouched by me.  I am living in the world created by Munsi Premchand in his short stories. I have no clue of the progress made in literature on last 30 years of Mandal, Kamandal & Dalit movements. I don't even know the names of Urdu books and their transliterated versions are out of my reach. I want to start reading more of fiction genre and real life stories more in upcoming months. '26 Books in 52 Weeks' is a goal for next year. I'm a super slow reader, but I usually get through ten to twelve books a year, mostly non fiction. I had accelerated pace of reading to utilize the time. And, the result shows in the reading list. I mostly try good reads and rarely best sellers. As well said by Frank Zappa : “So many books, so little time.”

Books Read in 2013:

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich :- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn - (Russian) English - 9/10 - A brilliant and mind blowing description of just one day of prisoner in Gulag at Siberia

The End of Iraq: How American Incompetence Created a War Without End :- Peter W. Galbraith - English - 8.5/10 - The name is sufficient to describe good work of journalism.

Tuesday With Morrie :- Mitch Albom - English - 8/10 - A beautiful memoir or discussion of teacher student on life, love and death.

Burden of Democracy :- Pratap Bhanu Mehta - English - 7.5/10 - : A very well written essay which discuss the reasons for which spirit of democracy is failing in India.

Lord of the Flies :- William Golding - English - 7/10 - A study of human behaviour through backdrop of group of British boys stuck on an uninhabited island.

Patriots and Partisans: From Nehru to Hindutva and Beyond :- Ramachandra Guha - English - 7.5/10 - A honest attempt on showing builders of country across all ideologies in Independent India.

Bharat ka Bhavisya :- Osho - Hindi - 4/10 - A below average book even with Osho standard having collection of speeches.

Karmath Mahilayein :- Reethu Menon - Hindi - 7.5/10 - A book on the path-breaking Indian women who defined their fields through their works.

Ek Gadhe ki Aatmkatha :- Krishna Chander - Hindi - 7/10 - Satire written during Nehru era still holding true to its core.

Uncle Tom's Cabin :- Harriet Beecher Stowe - English - 8/10 - An anti-slavery novel to be read for emotional reasons only.

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft :- Stephen King - English - 8/10 - A simple story of life with great tips on writing coming in patches.

Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty :- Daron Acemoglu & James Robinson - English - 8.5/10 - man-made political and economic institutions that underlie economic success.

Joothan:- Omprakash Valmiki - Hindi - 10/10 - A personal account of a stalwart of Hindi literature describing caste system in Hindu society.

The Immortals of Meluha :- Amish - English - 6/10 - A below par average first part of triology with Hindu mythology background.

The Secret of the Nagas :- Amish - English - 6.5/10 - Second part of the book series with little improvement.

The Oath of the Vayuputras :- Amish - English - 7.5/10 - Third and Last part series is more mature and enjoyable.

And Quiet flows the Dons :- Michail Sholokhov - (Russian) Hindi - 7.5/10 - It depicts the lives and struggles of Don Cossacks during era of Soviet revolution.

Bitter chocolate: child sexual abuse in India :- Pinki Virani - English - 9.5/10 - Felt broken and depressed on reading about child abuse stories and awareness among our own Indian society.

Yuganta: The End Of An Epoch :- Irawati Karve - English - 9.5/10 - This study of the main characters of the Mahabharata treats them as historical figures and uses their attitudes and behavior to gain an understanding of the times in which they lived.

O Jerusalem ! :- Dominique Lapierre and Larry Collins - English - 8.5/10 - A great book capturing the events and struggles surrounding the creation of the state of Israel.

My Days in Prison -: Iftikhar Gilani - English - 8/10 - A shocking story of trial and triumph under the framework of exploitative power of state.

The Idea of India :- Sunil Khilnani - English - 7/10 - Comprehensive account of India's economic and political journey from the independence to the liberalization.

I Too Had a Dream :- Verghese Kurien - English - 8.5/10 - Dr. Kurien's life story is chronicled in his memoir and must be read by teenagers and youths.

The Reluctant Fundamentalist:- Mohsin Hamid - English - 8/10 - A political thriller set in Pakistan but will appeal to the globe with sharp focus on fundamentalist mentality.

Never Give a Sucker an Even Break :- R Fields - English - 6.5/10 - A simple book on managing daily business through example from movies of WC Fields.

What I Did Not Learn At IIT: Transitioning from Campus to Workplace :- Rajeev Agarwal - English - 6/10 - A simple book but useful for fresh graduate on managing fresh career ahead.

Quotes for the Year 2013 -:

“One glance at a book and you hear the voice of another person, perhaps someone dead for 1,000 years. To read is to voyage through time.” - Carl Sagan

Great stories agree with our world view. The best stories don’t teach people anything new. Instead, the best stories agree with what the audience already believes and makes the members of the audience feel smart and secure when reminded how right they were in the first place. — Seth Godin (Author, Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us)

You have to understand, my dears, that the shortest distance between truth and a human being is a story. — Anthony de Mello, from One Minute Wisdom

Thursday, December 19, 2013

New face of Indian Cricket - 2

I read a lot on cricket still publish rarely an article on the cricket. New face of Indian Cricketwas written 5 years ago. This is the second part dedicated to our young team for having luck on the road ahead. 

Any game is often about not doing what your opponents want you to do. Test Cricket is no exception. I always consider One Day and T20 Matches as an exhibition while Test cricket is an examination. There will be 13 test matches(2 in SA, 2 in NZ, 5 IN ENG & 4 in AUS) in upcoming year. Great players will emerge in upcoming foreign tours through baptism by fire of fast bowling. Our young crop of batsman play aggressive brand of cricket what was termed as 'Australian Way'. Prudence is never the virtue of the new generation. Scoring at high run rate is essential for winning is good but not necessary applicable for all conditions. It is best to attack and play pretty when it suits; claw and fight like hell when it doesn't. Our batting and bowling line up has to display grit, temperament and determination . Test cricket have all sorts of ups and downs, collapses and fightbacks and some gritty and skilful performances.

The Gavaskar phenomena preceded the Tendulkar phenomena. Tendulkar has given same bantle to Sehwag as a spiritual successor. I am sure that baton has been passed from Dravid to Pujara and Sachin to Virat. And, Virat is proving to be new Richards as I am writing this on the close of 1st day of India South Africa test series. As batting collapses are not unknown in Indian cricket, still I am hoping for consistent performance. Our batting lineup seems strong with the rise of Dhawan, Rahane and Rohit. Natural talent is abundant here, but performance overseas depend on application and discipline.

India has no place for fast bowlers. We never groom fast bowlers for long duration and thus Zaheer Khan became an exception, not regular product of the system. Our battery of fast bowlers (Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Mohammad Shami & Bhubaneswar Kumar) is slowly building. Lanky MP pacer Ishwar Pandey, Varun Aaron and old hand RP Singh are present in the scene. Even then, things always had looked bleak on the Indian yorker scene. Craig McDermott and Lillee are guiding Australians while Allan Donald is nurturing South African talent. India desperately need guidance of Zaheer and Venkatesh Prasad as Javagal Srinath is more involved in administrative work. Kapil's spiritual heirs are none. With Irfan Pathan a spent force, Stuart Binny and Rishi Dhawan can take his path in limited overs. Yes, we have good wicketkeepers in the domestic circuit but none of them touch bar set up by Caption Dhoni. Saha, Karthik and Parthiv are really good choices in case of back up.

The Tendulkar, Ganguly, Kumble, Dravid Laxman era is over now. Even Zaheer khan and Mahendra Singh Dhoni are only remaining faces of the next phase of cricketers. Yuvraj, Harbhajan, Irfan, Gambhir and Sehwag are good cricketers but out of form currently. That has not happened with the stalwarts once they were well established in the team. When players are out of form and low on confidence, they can rely on technique only. Hence, there is even chance of return of Gambhir and Harbhajan. We are having good players like Vijay Zol, Manpreet Juneja, Jiwanjot Singh, Sanju Samson, Baba aparjit and Unmukt Chand in domestic tournaments. Selectors are not in panic state with the exit of seniors. They are choosing suitable candidates and even players of high calibers like Saurabh Tewari, Pragyan Ojha and Manoj Tewari are in waiting line.

Any team with ambitions to rule the world must vanquish challengers on all continents. Youngsters doing well in short formats is a good sign for Indian cricket. And if they do the same in test, then India will become a champion side.  In a great piece of refined writing, Martin Crowe expressed a great advice for everyone. "Wisdom is priceless. When you get on a learning path, it is the best time of your life. Every day means something, every lesson provides the clarity you clamour for. You move forward, evolve, grow, and become more fulfilled as the big picture, the dream even, emerges from the shadows and into the light." Hoping Indian team transform into great team one day.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Udaipur and Jodhpur Yatra

I had palnned Sikkim/Bhutan Trip in festival session of Nuakhai. That trip was cancelled due to backing out of the friends. Hence, I was looking towards other options. I do view it as a now or never situation in planning travel schedule. I took quick decision with help of my friend at IIM Ahmadabad. Udaipur and Jodhpur were prime destination of two days short trip of Rajasthan. I was lone traveler this time.

A balanced tourism is more about connecting with the local people and their culture, rather than site seeing like Maharajas of distant land. Talking for long session (1/2 -1 hour) with remarkable people like Shambhu (auto-rickshaw driver at Udaipur) and Yarden Gerest- Mar (Student of Computer Science at Hebrew University, Israel) were good experiences of the whole trip. Touring India is always mixed bag of praise, platitudes and panning. Foreign tourists are confronted with unfamiliar sights on a daily basis, such as open defecation that are no longer seen in the developed nation. India has both sides, some exciting and some negative.

Best moment was a small interaction with an unknown artist at Jaswant Thada. A great source of frustration creeps in people with a strong sense of entitlement face either unnecessary criticism or unmet expectations. Creative people like writers, actors, humanitarian aid worker or fashion designer have some similarity with such street artist as they work (initially) for peanuts in their respective professions. I was lost in bliss moments on listening to such beautiful music amid thirst and heat. Such non-material aspects of a life are truly divine.

“From the bastions of the Jodhpur fort one hears as the Gods must hear from Olympus,” said author Aldous Huxley about the Mehrangarh Fort ramparts. I covered Mehrangarh Fort early in the morning. Flying fox tour was too expensive (Rs 1500 for traveling to the wire around fort) and adrenaline rush doesn't suit me. What I like is slow and steady romance with medieval history and an ancient culture. I was unable to find location where a prison scene of 'The Dark Knight Rises' was shot. The exotic murals of the self-exiled Polish art Stefan Norblin in Umaid Bhawan are still fresh in my imagination.

Guided Trip in auto-rickshaw was plan for touring beautiful city of Udaipur. Most of the places shown were redundant for me. Folk Art Museum at Bhartiya Lok Kala Mandir was a surprise revelation for the day. I watched Daily puppetry show and gathered information about popular Ghoomar dance. Both Lake palace and City palace were full of scenic beauty. Camera charges at city palace was so high that appears more irrelevant in this era of high resolution mobile camera. I was unable to visit Sajjangarh fort due to time crunch.

Medieval painting, historical exhibits and cultural objects like arms, protective elephant howdahs, palanquins, armors, turbans, costumes and paintings at both places were preserved with great care. Impregnable defensive architecture have always been plus point of forts of Rajasthan. I took audio tour at Jodhpur and personal guide tour at Udaipur. I find audio tour better for those who are alone and have plenty of time and interest. I have always been in dilemma that vacation can't be a photo opportunity. Sometime it seems wrong to constantly capture the beauty as champion trophy, instead of savouring the moment. Sometimes the wrong path can take us to the right destination. But, having an smart app like Google Maps was useful. 'Baati Dal Choorma' was the only local cuisine tasted by me.

Tour of Jodhpur belonging to Marwar state and Udaipur belonging to Mewar was completed. It was very hard to grasp disparity in lifestyle of Bhil culture as seenin folk museum compared to luxurious lives of aristocracy.  Boredom tends to cause excessive pleasure-seeking since, lacking other goals, people often use pleasure as a goal. Thus was the era of Kingdoms and Feudal lords full of extremes in war, love and art. As Walter Benjamin famously wrote, “There is no document of civilization which is not at the same time a document of barbarism.”

Monday, November 18, 2013

Farewell Tendulkar

Sachin Tendulkar retired today from all formats of cricket matches today. Many has paid homage to this legend and much has been already said about his retirement and figures. I will add few words. I don't call him God but sure rank him as one of the best auteur of the game. I assume him as the last gentleman of the cricketing era giving place to aggressive new India. Sachin was raised in tradition of Mumbai batsmanship, aggressive in strokes yet solid and calm in defense. He took it to greatness with his action and achievements.

Rahul Dravid, Robin Singh, Hansie Cronje and Heath Streak are my favorite cricketers. I like Sachin but never loved him. Yet, he was always there as a symbol of hope. During 1990, if Tendulkar failed, TV sets were closed considering all was lost for India. In those days, Indians rarely have something that can be termed as world class. Sunil Gavaskar has given us inspiration that one can be second-to-none with sheer will and hard work. Gavaskar was combination of rock solid guts, the classic technique and full commitment to stand up to such hostile fast bowling of his era. Kapil Dev was similarly inspiring because fast bowlers were non existing species in Indian cricket history. Kapil was generating sufficient swing, bounce, accuracy and work horse like stamina on the dead pitches with athletic fielding capabilities. I always saw Sachin as a combination of both of these stalwarts : First Among Equals at world level amid figures like Brian Lara, Steve Waugh, Rahul Dravid, Ricky Ponting, and Jacques Kallis.

Qualities like Longevity, Dedication, Perseverance, Focus, Ambition and Humility are part of his status. He has even attracted admiration from the players of other country for his composure and behaviour on & off the field. But why I admire him, for his Integrity. All games is safeguarded by their popularity. Whole nation was in the state of shock due to match fixing scandals in 1999. Yet, Sachin's honesty and integrity healed fans and they gave moral support again to Indian cricket team. Indian media has bipolar disorder who either give people as god-like status in good times, while every weakness is dissected in loss. Hence, a career with traces of controversy is an extraordinary achievements. Even without evidence, minor allegation against him like ball tampering in SA 2001 and Monkey gate in Australia tour are insignificant. That career record makes one wonder about miracle named Sachin.

I was kid in early phase of his career and hence not seen great innings of Sachin against fast pitches against England, Australia and Pakistan. This one is hailed as mark of new era in world cricket.

I saw him first delivering match winning last over in Hero Cup semifinal.

I saw him destroying pace attack in foreign condition at South Africa.

I always remember his back to back explosive innings at Sharjah amid sand storms.

I was glued to radio commentary for Chennai Test of 1999 against Pakistan. I was heart broken when chasing 271, Sachin had made 136 with severe back pain & batting with grim resolve in losing cause.

Sachin's batting against Pakistan at Centurion in 2003 world cup match is unforgettable.

I rate heroic 175 against Australia in Hyderabad as an example of lone man fighting a battle.

That double century of Sachin against South Africa was so perfect example of building inning with speed and calculative risks.

Even ad featuring Sachin are now memories of past.

This was one my favorite.

A part of his success goes to the his family, friends , players and his coach. His cricketing records will be broken. Thanks Sachin for so many good memories. Profile of Sachin on Cricinfo.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

101 Ways to Get Educated

There are more than one ways in which one can get educated. This is a list which I found on the net... pretty inspiring and insightful !
  1. Grow enough grain for one loaf of bread -- and make and eat the loaf
  2. Answer ALL the questions of a 3 year old for a week
  3. Spend a day alone in a wild place
  4. Follow your trash to its final resting place
  5. Collect food and blankets and spend a day giving them to homeless people taking the time to stop and talk about life
  6. Help in the birth of a lamb, cow, or horse
  7. Visit a slaughter house (try to withhold judgment)
  8. Organize a rite of passage ceremony for an adolescent, someone at mid-life, or yourself
  9. Switch genders for the day
  10. Build a house (your own, or for Habitat for Humanity)
  11. Ask a low rider how the lifters on their car work
  12. Apprentice yourself to someone you've always wanted to learn from
  13. Take a picture of you and all your stuff in front of the place where you live. Compare it to the pictures in Peter Menzel's Material World
  14. Read the sacred texts of another tradition
  15. Imagine your most delicious relationship and then go first
  16. Work for a week on an assembly line
  17. Spend a week without stepping in a car. Pay attention to how your town looks from a bike, bus, or sidewalk
  18. Exchange tutoring with a teenager - math or bicycle repair in exchange for Web browsing, skate boarding, dance, or ??
  19. Go to someone else's church, synagogue, or place of worship
  20. Go on a vision quest
  21. Take a dance class from a different culture
  22. Interview the oldest person you can find; record the conversation
  23. Interview a child
  24. Imagine a day in your life 15 years from now
  25. Plant and care for a tree
  26. Ask yourself, "What if everyone in the world behaved the way I am behaving?"
  27. Get the names of the favorite books of your dentist, grocery store clerk, mother, co-worker, and your minister/rabbi/priest or spiritual guide. Read those books
  28. Pretend to be someone else on the Internet
  29. Trace your water supply back to its source - and follow it down the drainpipes to its destiny
  30. Finger paint
  31. Spend a day in a neighborhood where you've never been before - without carrying any money
  32. Ask your friends, and your ex-friends, to anonymously send you a list of your five best and five worst character traits
  33. Live for a day off your garden
  34. Channel surf for an evening; ask yourself what about the programs is drawing people
  35. Be quiet for 5 minutes per day; increase gradually to 20
  36. Ask a young person what's on his or her mind and heart, and listen (don't try to 'fix it')
  37. Figure out when and on what part of your dwelling the sun's rays fall at different times of year (for extra credit: calculate the photovoltaic potential of your roof)
  38. Take a year off
  39. Read a foreign newspaper
  40. Meditate on the life of your unborn grandchild
  41. Talk to the janitor
  42. Assume that everything is your responsibility, if not your fault
  43. Examine a handful of compost or rich soil under a microscope
  44. Go without food for three days
  45. Watch a child being born
  46. Write a creation myth
  47. Visit an observatory, and look at the stars through a big telescope
  48. Map the creeks, streams, and rivers in your watershed
  49. Choose six jobs that interest you; find someone to interview for each and spend a day working alongside them
  50. Watch a snail
  51. Find out what percentage of the world's financial wealth is owned by the top 50 corporations, and how much by the 50 wealthiest people
  52. Visit the emergency ward of a major hospital
  53. Sleep outside under the stars
  54. Discuss these questions with a friend : If the Universe is finite, what happens at its edge ? If it's infinite, how did it get there ? If the Universe started 15 billion years ago, what was there before it started? Does time go on forever ?
  55. Visit a spiritual healer
  56. Find out what the clerk at the grocery store is thinking about
  57. Follow your electric wires to the source of the electricity
  58. Learn to line dance
  59. Spend two hours with a counsellor exploring your life
  60. Pick three trees of different species and spend an hour meditating under each one
  61. Go on a week-long solo journey by bus, bike, or foot to a place you've never been; listen to the people you meet
  62. Learn how to build a wall
  63. Fall in love
  64. Take a bicycle to pieces and put it together again
  65. Visit a Native American reservation and talk with the people you meet about their past and future
  66. Learn how to give a good massage
  67. Spend a day watching a state or provincial legislature at work
  68. Calculate how much carbon dioxide your family is adding to the atmosphere each year
  69. Ask a good friend to share the most important lessons he or she has learned about sex and how to make love
  70. Perform menial or repetitive work at a job that lasts at least a week
  71. Read primary sources on history, science, social science (that is, avoid the authors who are interpreting the work of others)
  72. Carry all your trash around with you for a week. At the end of the week, weigh it all
  73. Write an episode of one of the current top-rated sitcoms on commercial TV; explain the story line to a friend
  74. Repair a damaged relationship
  75. Start that band/garden/book/art movement you told yourself you'd always do
  76. Throw the biggest party you can; try to get someone from every decade dancing
  77. Ask your parents about their relationship
  78. Refuse to do meaningless work for one week
  79. Offer to help your child's teacher
  80. Admit that you don't know and ask for help
  81. Tell people how you are really doing
  82. Go to a punk rock or hip-hop show
  83. Sell your car and go to India
  84. Seek out a friend of a different race & class
  85. Ask people what they are planning to do about the year 2000 computer bug
  86. Calculate the total miles traveled from the towns labeled on food cans in your pantry
  87. Ask a kid about divorce
  88. Teach yourself to play guitar
  89. Go to the industrial section of town and see how much free stuff is available (go dumpster diving)
  90. Make a movie about your neighborhood
  91. Visit the nearest creek once a week for a month and notice changes along the banks, in the water flows, in the pools
  92. Collect dumpling recipes from around the world; throw a dumpling party
  93. Imagine yourself looking back on your life at 90 years of age: what are the highlights? Who has been most important? What do you wish you had done?

Now go out and do those things, thank those people and live those highlights.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Individual Moral Progress

Unbiased Analysis always reveal that a ‘cherished tradition’ is neither cherished, nor a tradition; its a easy and popular myth propagated by powerful ones. Once we create movements sought to challenge the power not just of social practices eventually they will challenge political order too. There is term used ‘Heckler’s Veto” that has been seen more in democracy mode of governance. Essentially it means that the state refuses to allow freedom of expression out of fear of someone else’s reaction. That is the one lethal aspect that holds moral progress of the whole nation.

People judge individuals by whether they comfort you or unsettle mentally and emotionally. So, it is always easy to look for the coziness and intimacy that is inherited in the established tradition, even it is wrong one. As the total rejection of old will lead them into unknown emotional landscape with no peers around them. Only Diversity and open communication can challenge our morals based on culture. Yes, the truth hurts. But the damage caused by a twisted tradition has a deeper, more lasting impact.

Most of the people clings to moral arrogance in the name of honor and pride of family, caste, nation even at the cost of lives of others. And they are ready to sacrifice for that code of honor. A disturbing truth - When a man does something for himself his actions are performed within certain limits – limits set by the jealous scrutiny of others. But let a man set out to sacrifice himself and do good to others , and the normal limits vanish. He can become completely ruthless (the injustices done by idealists, patriots, saints and crusaders are far greater than those done by the worst tyrants). Look in our sacred books : Its not the achievement but the sacrifice that made Ram worthy of worship. No religious book praise love between two humans, it gives value to valor, courage and sacrifice for a greater cause.

Or society consists of three class : 'Traditional Conservative' as majority, 'Operational conservative yet theoretical liberal' and 'Ultra- liberals' as minority. What if even one is on the side of evil but believe in the righteousness of cause on the basis of faith ? That is the path of our traditional ones seeing things in more black and white. That makes a capable person dangerous is his/her conviction. However ultra liberals are immune to social pressure. Either due to wealth or grooming in open thoughts. However, Individual thinking is partially bounded by to the consequences of collective insanity. The buffer between conservatives and liberal provides an atmosphere for adaption of new idea.

As we know that the number of people willing to change their views in the face of evidence is much too small. Then, how is moral progress has been made in the past ? When we get used to something, it loses its shock value, it loses disgust value and now you are just much more open. That is the simple way of change. The fear of revolutionary change always led public to embrace tradition and theology. Hence, reformation is the way  of gradual and painstaking process. It can only be built-up through dialogues and struggles even it is usually termed as heresy by traditional pundits.

In closest friends, only Shreyash and Chandan, with whom I can shared highly controversial social and non- aesthetic ideas. I have observed that living a normal life in itself is one of the biggest challenges. Because there is no such thing as normal for any time and place. While rejecting extremist right and left political views, and I try to take a flexible position, although having a rather pessimistic, view of the society. I have question relevant and validity of values what has been taught to me by school, family and even friends. It may be called day dreaming, but that is however unsettling, new ideas has came inside my head through curiosity to explore new terrain of values. It has involved painful process of ignoring epidemic of ignorance in friends, family and society willfully. I have taken part in a survey on morals [Source] whose result is published below.

Man learns a lot more while he is traveling or reading. A open mind can hold two opposite views in mind at same time and understand dichotomy of the situation. I am enlisting four simple ways that opens the path of liberal thinking to an individual.

1- Diverse set of material in reading is must. Otherwise, books become propaganda. Through words, sometimes books have disturb the comfortable & comfort the disturbed state of mind.

2- Self Imposed Solitude takes away peer pressure and the limelight. One critically look at his knowledge and world around again with patience in that period. That is a rare thing to do.

3- Exile away from home gives most insights about tolerance of others values. Hostel Life and Travel thus make people more mature and open to new ideas.

4- Last way to chart on the path of liberalism is sarcasm and comedy. Make fun of everything/everybody that is sacred, powerful, or stupid.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

August 21, 2013 is Blue Moon

August 21, 2013 is Blue Moon. The phrase 'Once in a blue moon' has come to mean something that incurs very infrequently. So is my birthday that happens only once in a year. Life is looking okay for now. Off the job, well, not quite smooth. I have seen now 28 years of life of details.

The perennial question from childhood in my mind is - Is it merely an accident of birth that led to one person having huge wealth and other condemned to poverty ? The search for the answer of this question has made me an idealist in this practical world. To argue with one's own kin and friends for the ideal of fairness is difficult. One has to drop imposed morality and biased faith for one's own. I try to explore the issues of social hierarchy, religion, loyalty, corruption, sexuality, war, crime, and punishment by becoming morally ambiguous. I am ready to inherited cultural values if they are not respecting human rights. Even I have been rubbing with the comforts, the ragged edges of reality are forever pierced in my heart.

The things we admire in men; kindness and generosity, openness, honesty, understanding and feeling are the concomitants of failure in our system. And traits we detest; sharpness, greed, acquisitiveness, meanness, egotism and self-interest are the traits of success. And while men admire the quality of the first, they love the produce of the second. - John Steinbeck

We are the choices that we made. Sometimes good and other times bad. Mechanical engineering was out for me because of my inability to grasp technical concepts at engineering and lethargy. That left me with job in IT sector but I came to conclusion that negative choices are always the worst choices. I never feel to be such out of place and failure as in the engineering sector. The privilege of failure must not be taken away because to have continued success gives birth to mediocrity. It is the struggles and perseverance that has made me much strong today. Today, I am thankful to bad ones for widening my experiences.

No one ever owns up youth or the women he loves. But there is great mystery in love as it doesn't obey our expectations. Sometimes love is unrequited and unfulfilled. I may be a loner but definitely not a monk, voyeur or hermit. But this desire is like abyss. I am not even sure now what is true now in love. Let me not dwell into ancient evenings and distant music of past. Alas ! they are gone. I am ready for the new encounters, passions and sufferings in the love.

I have so many layers in memory, that I can peel away a few in the words. I had acted like another person so many times yet I was coming to the term of my real self slowly. Even self is dynamic notion but I was more of myself in recent years. Personal identity is an enigma, fragile & tenacious woven by threads of choices and inheritances. I assume that we all are held together by wisps of memory, few strong and mostly feeble.

The pace of life is unhurried nut not slow. While others plan, I dream. Yes, there is chaos in the dream but its worth it. I am happy to take the path of my heart without giving up for trend, instant relief and gratification. Notion about me by others is impossible to change. I do not sulk about missing out but get excited by what lies ahead. With growing age one owes responsibilities, more burdens, more obligations and also comes our ability to deal with the complexity. I don't know what lies ahead in the womb of future. Let us play between serendipity and causality. Life is strange. That is for sure. I am doing what I assume as right.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

66 Years of Independence

15th August comes again. With each passing days, India seemed to less shining and more as the great land of Al-Absurdistan. I am ranting on Independence day because we are not bothered about freedom, justice and fairness. The goal of development can't be achieved without securing these premises.

When are we putting aside petty political fights and begin focusing on the real problems that threaten our nation ? India is a capitalism encased feudal societies where people hide their prejudice behind a mask of newly coming material wealth. We are amnesic of the issues to be addressed with utmost importance for voices are hushed up or ignored in the media due to business interests or political pressure. We accumulate huge foreign reserve and emphasizing stock piles in food grains. An obsession with government jobs that give access to social and economic security without any accountability.

India possesses a range and quality of intellectuals that perhaps only few developing society in the world can match. They are considered both brilliant and scholar. But it is the lack of courage to call a spade a spade holds us back. People lack certain level of individuality to take a stand on serious matters of concern. There is no moral decline of the whole society. Our morals were always like this but it is now they are exposed in the public face.

There are lot of martyrs involved in our struggle for independence and rarely we remember them. There's no going back now. Our independence somehow was not the birth of an open mind in Indian context but only reformation through the western weapons of ideas. We as Indian rarely see ourselves as part of perpetrators and carriers of an unjust system. Sixty years of idealism, emergency, socialism, caste reservations and liberalization followed, has been bringing about the end of feudalism and the rise of equality and a new social order. Rising inequality disturbs me to a great extent. One look at human history is enough to prove that eventually it is always the freedom and inclusive institutions that has build up great nations.

It is very important to ask a simple question before making any decisions - Progress for Whom and on whose cost? Capital investment into infrastructure, Industry building or Subsidy demands sacrifices. But those who are making and those who progress are not the same set of people. I am not a communist but can 't accept an hedonistic version of America. I belong to a nation whose identity vividly unfurls in a maelstrom of violence, riots, discontent and poverty. In the end, we all want civilized, just and equitable India. I dream of India to be more humane rather than exotic and incredible.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Hard Times

Once a good economy crumbles, results go wrong, inflation hurts more frequently and GDP rate turns slow. Read these three articles to understand, how India has been ruined by Congress !

Blog Post 1 - All confusion apart, I strongly feel that the Congress (I) must not come back to power in 2014–directly or behind the scenes. They must be made to sit in opposition and lose big time like PPP did in Pakistan. That should be our first priority.

Let India not become Bihar of 1990s where you could be incompetent with impunity because you were sure to come back to power with the caste equation in your favor. There was not even any attempt to perform; there wasn’t even a pretense of integrity. Let India not become Jharkhand of today either where lobbyists rule and voters suffer–again without an end in sight to the nightmare.

Blog Post 2 - A story of destructive governance and citizens who did not speak out.

Blog Post 3 -If patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel, there is nothing like appearing to care for the poor to divert attention from the arduous, painstaking task of building public institutions that are critical to implement the provision of public goods for the underprivileged. Instead, progressive legislation has become a substitute for building the state's implementation capacity to do even the most basic of tasks. Indeed, it is undermining it - if you can barely do three things well, adding five more will undoubtedly ensure that everything is done poorly.

There has always been a gap between public policy and public will ; But performance of UPA is really bad and the scorn is well deserved on them !

Friday, June 28, 2013

How Hardliners Win in Chaos?

In all revolutionary settings, Islamisicts, repeatedly cooperated with party of moderate libertarian inclination, and later have double-crossed them to capture power for themselves. Let's take an hypothetical example where Islamic Ulemas are allowed to make a list of 'ALL' the things that are wrong with society, and then suppose power center instituted EVERY social change that they demanded. Within couple of years, they will come with new list and with fierce pressure within . The drive for power is only satisfies by imposing a code of moral behavior.

Once the power-hungry and orthodox types have captured control of the movement, there are many moderate Muslims of a gentler breed who inwardly disapprove of many of the actions of the leaders, but cannot bring themselves to oppose them. They need their faith in the Islam, and because they cannot give up this faith and act against social pressure, they go along with the leaders. And those who have guts to oppose them will be physically assaulted, exiled, jailed and even boycotted with the help of the twin notions of blasphemy and apostasy. Thus the fact that many individual Muslims are personally tolerant and fairly tolerant people by no means prevents Islamic hardliners form having a totalitarian tendency to capture power.

However, the most dangerous individuals of all are True Believers. They are governed by dogmatic approach to Islamic ideology who avoid aggressive behavior but work quietly to promote collectivist values even with absolutely good intentions. But they create a society which gradually outcaste individuals with individualistic behavior, and so forth. Denial for others and blind belief are the instruments of True believers and their followers.

The funny thing is replace Islam with Left and all the logic will still appear to be true.

There was a great marxist named lenin, who did two or three million men in. That's a lot to have done in, But where he did one in, That great Marxist Stalin did ten in. - Robert Conquest.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Tawang: The Hidden Paradise.

I planned to Tawang for my dreams to see Buddhist monasteries . The three musketeers (Gautam, Mriganka & Himanshu) were the travelers. We had finalized our tour itinerary for Arunachal after reading all tour reports on travel sites. We started from Bhubaneswar and reached Guwahati via Kolkata. Route to Tezpur from Guwahati was unexpectedly a plain grassland and took nearly 5 hours with state bus service. We got our permits done at Tezpur office only just before closing of the office. It seems sad to take Inner Line Permit to visit in our own country. But when we have draconian acts like AFSPA in North east India, this seems to be less of our all worries. This part of India is seeing a grave human rights violation and things will go messy in future due to our state actions today.

We took a 6 days tour package from Tezpur ASTC agent Miraz. The route from Tezpur to Tawang have patches of really bad road. Bhalukpong was the start of Arunachal Pradesh. There is a proposal of train line to Bhalukpong. 370 km route was covered in two days with a transit stay at Bomdilla. We traveled through West Kameng, home to the Sessa Orchid Wildlife Sanctuary but March was not the right season for their flowering. Tawang is a beautiful place. Local people talk about Koyla Movie shooting and 1959 escape of 14th Dalai lama to India. We were lucky to get permit to visit Bum-La Pass. The road to Bumpla Pass from Tawang is of strategic importance but badly constructed. I will assume that a certain level of corruption in this. We trekked nearly one and half km on the road to Bumla pass as our vehicle can't go due to fear of slipping on the road. It took really some effort to walk and enjoy beauty of Bumla pass situated at 15000 ft. Seeing a Madhuri lake on the return was a most calming thing on our nerves in the whole journey. We returned to Tezpur with one night stay at Derang.

Gautam and Mriganaka at Sela Pass
We @ Bum La Pass
Indian Army with Us
Madhuri lake View
Tawang Monastery
Sela Pass during snowfall

I had not talked much about tour itinerary, hotels and cuisines here. Momo and Thupka are really things to try out there. Chinese items were flooded in the market. So decide oneself what to purchase. We did learn about 1962 war through memorials of Rifleman Jaswant Singh Rawat and Subedar Joginder Singh Sahnan. Nature lovers can enjoy Rhododendron and orchid sanctuary in their flowering seasons. This trip takes us through Fall, lakes, valleys, mountains and passes with all season of Rain, snow & sunshine coming together in six days.

There are ample opportunities to develop tourism here. There is a high unemployment rate while road construction, military contracts and tourism industry are only booming ones. Irom sharmila chanu and Mary Kom are well known and represent Manipur but there is no famous personality except Dorjee Khandu in my knowledge from Arunachal Pradesh. Our drivers(companions)told us about many problems faced by NE states. They were especially extortion and kidnapping by Bodo in Assam, insurgency in Nagaland & illegal migrants of Bangladesh. They even claim (not sure) of open for sale market of AK 47 and pistols at Dimpaur. Vulgar remark about the driver and army people on their need of women wherever they go left a bad taste in my mouth.

Ethnic people consist of Nepali, Garo, Bodo with Buddhism and Christianity as emerging religion. I learn that Buddhism have different sects and even more rituals than other religions. 'Om Mani Peme Hum' is the most widely used of all Buddhist mantras. It was again told to us that Christianity is having soothing effect on tribal people (not sure of this). Muslim -Tribal tension is really building here. It seems that a lot of money is pumped by central government but there is misuse of funds by local political leaders, military and bureaucracy. North-East region has sadly turned into one of the worst-hit conflict zones in Southeast Asia.

What I like was the whole society has given more liberty to women in every aspect than their northern or southern Indian counterparts. It is a shameful and racist act to use word Chinki for them. Continuous use of that word "chinki" represents ignorance, bigotry and deep rooted callousness even in our well educated class. Now can we start respecting NE people by not calling them Chinky? While Super Mom Magnificent Mary is making India proud more than any of us, its shame Northeast women are often stereotyped as "cheap" and "easy".

I need to read more about history of NE region. Any reader can suggest me a good book. That will be helpful.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Reading about B Schools

"Products are made in the factory, but brands are created in the mind." - Walter Landor

The most critical issue in B schools today is that of quality. It is because of aspirations for “quality” education variously perceived by different social classes where MBA degree is often equated with “good education” by most parents as a social status symbol. The exponential growth of b-schools happened during 1995-2011 and resulted in the increased supply of MBAs or PGDMs, far in excess of actual industry demand.

As a MBA student, you end up learning several theoretical concepts through case studies, projects and field assignments. Beyond this grades will be left behind and work experience starts to matter more and more. Vijay Govindrajan, professor at Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, says even in the US a majority of CEOs have MBA degrees. "There are three main rationales for getting an MBA: intellectual capital (knowledge), social capital (network), and legitimacy (brand name). All the three propel the best of the MBAs to reach the top," he says.

There are some changes coming in the B School world that are reported in mainstream news.

1- IIM-A Needs to Step Out Into the Real World. Read more:

2- Truth about astronomical IIM packages. Read more:

3- Never released official placement report for 2012 batch, says DMS IIT Delhi in RTI reply. Read more:

4- How do you choose a b-school when the top 10 choices seem out of reach. Read more:

5- Placements at IIMs are not an entitlement, determined by mood in corporate India. Read more:

6- Placement season: Companies prefer to recruit from top-tier B-schools than lower-ranked IIMs. Read more:

7- B School bubble burst. Read more:

Only complain that i have - Students fail to appreciate the socio-environmental issues as impacting Businesses, is because there are very few academic social science inputs in the course-work. While “Economics” (which provides a grounding in enhancing financial wealth creation) is taught, there is no “social science” dept., which provides a grounding in subjects like Sociology, Anthropology, Political Science, etc. This is particularly important in India, where increasingly most students come with a science/ engineering degrees, and increasingly solving business problems requires grounding in social science disciplines.

Just for fun :- A layman’s guide to classifying MBAs!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Stereotype Me !

Never forget where you came from that is what I learn all these years. It may not define you but gives a reference point to start. All of us must take an emotional journey to discover the roots, the cultural identity and constantly looking our own future course of action. I try much to write frankly, clearly and not with bitter heart. I am rooted in my local culture but I am not closed. I am aiming to be liberal while trying not be indifferent and disrespectful of the conservative surroundings. I'm not exactly as I appear as a stereotype. There is a warm loveable person inside. Beneath my cold exterior, once you break the ice, you can find a warm heart waiting for the embracement for new ideas.

Cultural entities and characteristics do require microfoundations. My grandfather was most liberal and chilled out person in my whole family. I learnt love of Nature, Urdu Couplets and Hindi Literature from my father. The zeal to read newspaper, fiction and nonfiction literature is a trait inherited by me from the parents. As I grew and traveled, I find some factors that were used to define my identity. There are few parameters that defined in both good and bad way. I can easily see mine upbringing and even behaviour belonging to certain reference groups. I marked out five attributes as per seen through lens of stereotype. Is that all there in me? Let us began to a cultural inquiry -

Religion Hindu - A grand religion whose majority exist in India. And yes they are tolerant in mind but highly illiberal in practice. Even the childhood environment around me was not religious, I was particularly attracted towards Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) books. Usually traits of the majority can never be cause of retrospection unless forced and shaken under the crisis of identity. It was the time of Babri Masjid demolition that started my journey into Hinduism through mythological and history books. I slowly understand meaning of secular. I came to believe that human progress cannot be stopped and religion is an outdated idea. While going through agnostic and atheistic path, I tried to look Hinduism as an outsider. Because, only an outsider gets closer to certain difficult truths, and is therefore likely to see the contradictions and absurdities prevailing inside the system.

High Caste - I was born in caste of Bhumihar Brahmins. For starters, Who are Bhumihars ? As per Mark Tully Book, Bhumihars were brahmins until buddhist period and then we converted to Buddhism. In the fourth and fifth century, Buddhists started converting back to Hinduism. The Brahmin said that we could return to the fold but we couldn't be priests and take money for conducting religious ceremonies, so we became the only Brahmins who tilled the soil. They were not in the league of top notch Brahmins who performed Yagnas still practicing warrior and agriculture practices. My caste has not been subjected to any oppression in the past hence, I naturally belong to a privileged caste. Few may have heard of notorious and brutal Ranvir Sena.

Social positions and roles can't fill pursuit for happiness, somehow they become instruments of discrimination. Surrender to the community pressure has inherent danger of the gradual loss of free will and independent thinking. Sometimes a taboo or resistance from family can trigger to begin the struggle to come to terms with this caste identity, reservation politics and surname. It took many years and still in process to learn about social justice in a casteist society.

English Medium Education - I was lucky to have education at primary level in Hindi Medium. Otherwise, the privilege of studying in English medium has side effects. The English books may give global values but often cut from the local realities. The collective ignorance only strengthened my conviction that the English-reading public needed to be exposed to their own mother tongue literature. Retrospecting now, it is impossible to read the book without considering the world whose values it reflects. I glanced English newspaper first time in class 9th. Currently, I am in refuge of English and isolation from Hindi is growing day by day.

Hindi speaking North Indian - At times it seems as though the cultural divide, the mental walls, are deeper and taller than any physical barrier underway. Among such issues, I feel not talk further but request you to read an intrinsic and comic stereotype of an UPite. A piece published in Tehelka as 'The Bhaiyya, the Bandit and the Bak-bak artist'.

Middle Class - To be ultra rich and feared in an unjust society is a disgrace. As per World Bank data of 2010, 96.3% live on less than $5 a day in India. [Data Source] I was sure much above this majority belonging to a middle class upbringing with good opportunities of education and health facilities. Yes today middle class, which has renamed itself aam admi is enjoying the subsidies while benefits of government schemes are not reaching to the poor class. There is a bit of notion among elite and middle class that their success is purely due to merit. But their social success apparently has nothing to do with their social background. being from the best schools and meeting the best people at the best clubs. The whole middle class has been built on some sort of subsidy, corruption, tax relief/theft and assets such as land holdings. The denial of inherited benefits runs deep in many people stereotyping these qualification.

So what is the way to break these stereotypes ? Even today, our collective attitudes and prejudices towards remain a lot similar to what they were till a few decades back. There is a wave of modernism in India yet there is no sign of liberal mentality. The ultra-conservative mindset race, caste and class reappear when people in India actually engage with difference. Sociologist Shiv Visvanathan has a phrase for him: the pragmatic conservative, who espouses zero-tolerance political morality and chalta hai expediency, who wants sex before marriage as well as a classified match.  Despite of several years of coexistence, there is an unwritten rule of not mingling through marriage of one religion or caste. Getting people out of the reference groups is only a sure way to activate human relationships.

The broadening of my studies into history showed me that rhetoric and reality go their separate ways. I often find themselves in surroundings, where I don't fit in and even know how to deal with people having backward thinking. I always find the smarter thing to do is to acknowledge the drawbacks and actively seek for ways to address them. Equality and inclusiveness are two principles through which every wrong can be put to right.

I am born and brought up with this identity and education. Self education through books, cinema and meditation was more transformational experience in the overall context of mine intellectual and emotional development. Whatever we understand and enjoy in human products instantly becomes ours, wherever they might have their origin. That is mantra of my life. The joy of flying in the sky is always more than nested life. That is why I change careers so frequently than others. So don't stereotype me. Every rebel becomes a conformist, hence my real insecurity begins now.

Lottery of birth : Raoul Martinez at TEDxWhitechapel

Saturday, June 8, 2013

That's The Way Life is

I live, I go daily through tides of emotions, I express, I learn, I figure out where I went wrong. That's what living is for me. A realm of emotional stampede to the moments of peaceful bliss. The world swings between two extreme so is the personal life of the author. Life was scarred by emotional volatility. I am at the moment, is living in the zone. I need to earn respect and freedom more than money. Respect can't be bought, it has to be earned. So, what the heck that means ? Sometimes people deserve their work rewarded through likability not monetary compensation.

Going through the season of emotional stampedes has always revealed a trait inside me something dark. I don't know what is in the air of college and office that I slowly starts to enjoy proximity to the power. I had unknowingly regraded to become more diplomatic rather than being candid and blunt.Lightning doesn't strike at same place twice but bad habits can make you repay again and again. Still, I have history of screwing up in the end good relationship with several teachers. I have always regret for such behaviour.

What's the right thing to do ? I am a person who is unwavering in his principles, but flexible and open in the practice. That has led to a strange situation where being too much flexible shows a lack of conviction but rigidity has led to the lack of creativity or even worse pride.

How can a man go wrong and not know why ? A wrong choice is necessary to know what were the right alternatives. Love cures angst, bitterness and a sense of violation and isolation. Even I gather wisdom from esteemed and forgotten peoples, I don't believe anything except love. Any feeling of revenge, pride and even moral laws contrasting love is invalid for me.

Is doing things faster will makes a life more happier ? The most important things in life: the patience ; Having patience to wait and having to deal with our urges without having them satisfied instantly is what builds character. Then what is life, full of ethical challenges.

It is tough to teach oneself discipline in the daily routine and work. I had achieved this for 2 months during class 9th. Its not demons but lethargy driving me towards abyss of procrastination. There is no solace for quitter. It takes twenty-one days to form a habit. Wake up !!!

Let us talk about relations. What a strange thing generational gap is, it changes perception about of life. One generation’s work and sacrifice always creates windows of opportunities and even over-confidence in the next. As the old Romanian saying goes, "good people always fit together", I am lucky to have good friends. I treasure friends for only they will give support in the hour of need.

These lines are not sudden realization. It has come in the moments of solitude and reflection. Every wave of personal reform creates a new pretext for the fall. But periods of introspections are necessary. An arresting article can be montage but can't be the same as an idea in action. Bottom line, as traditional wisdom always say: Good is the biggest enemy of great. My biggest risk isn't failing, it's getting too comfortable.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Wisdom Words -2

"To everything there is a season... A time to be born, and a time to die." - Ecclesiastes

"A slave begins by demanding justice and ends by wanting to wear a crown." - Albert Camus

"The Biggest changes in a woman's nature are brought by love; in man, by ambition." ― Rabindranath Tagore

"Bitterly disappointed teachers can either be very effective or very dangerous." - Sean Connery in Finding Forrester

"Creativity is a space for solitary longing, the desire to be elsewhere in space and time, to be in a new ideal world where life is as it should be." - Chenjerai Hove

"The Fundamental Principle that governs - or ought to govern -human affairs if we wish to avoid misunderstandings, conflicts, or pointless utopias, is negotiation." - Umberto Eco

"The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos." - H. L. Mencken

"The more intensely we feel about an idea or a goal, the more assuredly the idea, buried deep in our subconscious, will direct us along the path to its fulfillment." - Earl Nightingale

"The moral backbone of literature is about that whole question of memory. To my mind it seems clear that those who have no memory have the much greater chance to lead happy lives." - W G Sebald

"Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan "Press on" has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race." - Calvin Coolidge

Ted Talk- Amanda Palmer: The art of asking

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Ten Issues - 24

1- Gartner's Magic Quadrant for Social CRM and the Social Enterprise - The reality of Social CRM is that many enterprises aren’t finding what they need with existing vendors. So they are quietly building their own CRM systems. It’s all about using technology to support and streamline relationships not control them.

2- Prof. Cornel West on the moral obligations of living in a democratic society.

3- Information Bureau For Microfinance by C.P.Mohan and Simanchal Sahu

4- Is Micro Finance leading to a Macro Mess - The AP Ordinance by Aloysius P. Fernandez

5- Rockstar of Financial Inclusion: Business Correspondent Model of India.

6- Death by Indifference: AIDS and Heroin Addiction in Russia

7- What Social Sector Needs to Learn from the Private Sector

8- Vakrangee Finserve becomes Common Banking Correspondent for Gujarat - The bid is the outcome of a "suggestion" from the Department of Financial Services which basically told public sector banks to divide India into 20 clusters, and to use a common BC to extend last mile banking services into the hinterland.

9- Givers take all: The hidden dimension of corporate culture

10- Death on mounds of a bumper crop- As corruption hijacks procurement centres in Bundelkhand, farmers prefer suicide to a debt trap. Richard Mahapatra reports from Uttar Pradesh with photographer Sayantoni Palchoudhuri

Quote of the Day:

"I don't believe in charity; I believe in solidarity. Charity is vertical, so it's humiliating. It goes from top to bottom. Solidarity is horizontal. It respects the other and learns from the other. I have a lot to learn from other people." ~ Eduardo Galeano

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Development in a Trimester of rural management - 6

1- In economics, the Dutch disease is a concept that explains the apparent relationship between the increase in exploitation of natural resources and a decline in the manufacturing sector. There is an over-dependence on exports of primary products pushes up the value of its currency, leading to a downward spiral in its manufacturing productivity and competitiveness.

Same analogy in reverse notion can be put in the case of placement of rural managers. Unless the economy is worse, most of the rural managers are placed in either Banks or Sales job. With the expansion of the batch size and recession in Indian economy forced them to diversify their target organizations. Thus it has resulted in the placement of rural managers in diversified sector.

2- There is no placement week but a placement season.

3- Attendance falls drastically in this trimester. There are just different reasons before and after getting placed.

4- As per Prof Banikant : Ans. Nowadays the students are brighter but they are very oriented towards their final placements.

5- People prefer direct speaking student representatives over a diplomatic answer from the administration. People support a work by student representative who can spoke with honest realism about the need for harsh measures while latter only just endlessly just promised hope. That is why our batch respect Team Placecom. Kudos to them. Team makes successful captain, Successful captain does not make successful team. That is true for this team also.

6- I assume mine classroom as a microcosmic model of middle class India. While attending ethics and governance lectures, I easily pinpointed the real crisis in this country i.e. the intellectual and moral decline. Even we have potential to debate, articulate and analyze as an argumentative Indians, there is much gap in our perception and true nature of the values like integrity, liberty, equality & fraternity.

7- We as a whole bunch of individuals show tolerance for breaking rules, bad behaviour and corruption. Back Chats and Insider information were ugly faces of the placement season in the whole batch.

8- Networking ensures long term industry and company contacts. Placement season has again confirmed this rule.

9- I always kept in the mind that parameter of success is not the highest salary. It is very easy to give to the temptation of the money. I decided not to be part of slave auction business but to build up experience and skills through exposure. But the financial aspect like loan is important while securing dream job.

I was lazy and insincere as a student in this last trimester. The past is prologue, as they say. Those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it. I don't want to carry this legacy in the new work environment.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Book -Marks for Reading

1- Why we need better economics.

2- A risky strategy, born of panic : Building ‘capitalism with Indian characteristics’ means decisions cannot ignore concerns of voters and communities.

3- Fear of a Black President :As a candidate, Barack Obama said we needed to reckon with race and with America’s original sin, slavery. But as our first black president, he has avoided mention of race almost entirely. In having to be “twice as good” and “half as black,” Obama reveals the false promise and double standard of integration.

4- Psychology of Social Networking

5- Peace, Progress, Human Rights - Nobel Lecture, December 11, 1975 by Andrei Sakharov.

6- Democracies in the World

7- Behind Robert Vadra’s fortune, a maze of questions - Property empire was built on soft loans handed out in unusual circumstances, documents show.

8- 'India Is Racist, And Happy About It': A Black American's first-hand experience of footpath India: no one even wants to change.

9- The policy analysis matrix for agricultural development

10- Three Hundred Ramayanas : The essay Delhi University deemed unfit for its students

11- For true stimulus, Fed should drop QE3 - Quantitative easing increases inequality by raising prices, says Ruchir Sharma.

12- Unhealed Wounds - The suicide of a Dalit student at India’s top medical college reveals an institution bitterly divided over caste and reservations.

13- Ron Paul's Farewell Speech to Congress.

14- The first 100 days of a new CIO: Nine steps for wiring in success - It’s critical to get a good start when stepping into the CIO role. Consider several measures when you shape your course.

15- Interview of Amitabh Bachchan

16 - I was gang raped three years ago, when I was 17 years old. My name and my photograph appeared with this article in 1983, in Manushi.

17- 20 Things I Should Have Known at 20.

18- The ‘Busy’ Trap - It’s not as if any of us wants to live like this; it’s something we collectively force one another to do.

19- Needed: An exit policy for bad businessmen

20- Can non-Europeans think? - What happens with thinkers who operate outside the European philosophical 'pedigree'?

21- नरेंद्र मोदी से उर्दू साप्‍ताहिक नई दुनिया के संपादक शाहिद सिद्दीकी का इंटरव्यू|

22 - NIPFP study finds large returns from Aadhaar project

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Development in a Trimester of rural management - 5

I didn't come down to XIMB to oversleep. I've worked below what I am capable of. Here in 5 points what I learnt in last 3 months:

1- Generally, the clashes within lobbies of students are less real than the ones between the outsiders and system who find themselves in places where they are not a good fit. There are few people in our batch whose distinct and peculiar view make them to stand out from the rural manager's community.

2- College should be able to assist a student because they had structures in place for people seeking entrepreneurship. We lack an ecosystem to discuss social barriers for an entrepreneurial activity. Climbing corporate ladder is respectable but exploring new venture is seemed as "worst fears" come true where person is tagged as "confused".

3- In life, as one achieves success, the ability to take risks falls in almost the same proportion. Hence, it is better to throw away some securities in the search of unknown territories. I am happy to make up my mind for development field in the upcoming placement season throwing away securities of good salary.

4- Some People come across the English speaking environment right from a very early age. That may sound like a lame excuse but they are more comfortable than most in GD & Interview with their communication skill.

5- The man on the field needs to be supported and nourished that establishes trust and relate to the empowerment.

It is not only diversity but quality of experience in initial years that matters most in foundation of ours world view. I refused to just be good, because I had a dream to be great. It's a dream that every one one of us has had in our heart. The difference is, we don't put faith in, we don't persist, we don't improve, and we end up just moving to a stable and mediocre life.


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