Thursday, December 28, 2006

the most wonderful time of the year...

right from things that are hoped and expected, to the resolutions that are meant to be broken... the season headed up to the new year is always the most wonderful time of the year...

wishing all a very happy and prosperous new year 2007!!!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

The real beauty...

The nuances involved while steering one’s self through tough circumstances include but are not limited to determination, persistence and a positive attitude in general. We all face difficulties at some point in our lives. The levels and the frequencies may vary but we sure do face them. It is not how we get into these situations that are always the most important factor, but it is how we handle them and work our way out of them. The primary factor determining this is the kind of person that one is.

Let’s imagine that there are three theories to define different kinds of people in this world. The first kind: those who are unaffected by anything, be it positive or be it negative. In other words, these people do not care about anything, and do not FEEL excited about anything. The second kind: those who are always unhappy, and find faults not only in themselves but also in others all the time. In other words, these are absolute PESSIMISTS. The third kind: those who always look for positive things in what they see and what they do. In other words, they have a positive attitude and are absolute OPTIMISTS. Needless to say, there is no real 100% of any one kind and is usually a blend of these three.

When it comes to handling adverse conditions, it is so critical that we increase our optimistic part to as high as we can. It takes a lot to look at a bad situation and see the good parts in it. When India was still under the British rule prior to 1947, maybe this is what Mahatma Gandhi was able to do.

Life is too short to waste away whining and complaining. It’s a beautiful world alright, but what actually makes it beautiful is the perception of how we see it.

Friday, September 08, 2006

being selfless...

being humans it is only natural that we are selfish beings (for the most part)... at times when i think about how we are like crabs trying to get out a deep well... the famous story goes: there are many crabs stuck in a deep well... instead of helping each other out, each crab infact makes sure that no other crab climbs out of the well... too bad...

if only we listened with open ears to what our parents/dear ones tried to tell us during our formative years... if only we understood the terms compassion, teamwork, unity, etc... for starters, what can we really do? what could be a good first step toward understanding the concept of being selfless?

is being selfless being like Karna, who was foolish enough to succumb to the tricks of Lord Krishna (the story goes: In a famous Indian Epic, even Lord Krishna had to use treachery to overcome the evil and achieve greater good for the truth! In that process, the Lord deceives Karna, a noble soul who donates anything for the needy and ultimately ending up donating his own life-guard!)... is being selfless not acquiring any material wealth and donating 100% of one's earnings for the needy and the poor? is being selfless going out of the way not considering one's own needs to help out another person who is in dire need?

well, the simple answer is ofcourse 'it depends'... we can call ourselves selfless based on a few acts of basic goodness, but what really matters is when it really counts... when we are in that deep well, how we behave defines our character... when we try not to deceive even in the cause of greater goodness...

one of the most popular catch-phrases in recent television advertisements goes: there are some things money can't buy... for everything else, there is mastercard... the feeling we get when we see a needy person after we have helped them, is priceless...

these acts of moral goodness and selflessness can come from simple daily activities like yielding to pedestrians in parking lots, being courteous to customers/cashiers (works both ways), helping a friend in desperate need to the extent possible even if it costs us time and/or money...

thinking about it should make us all wonder... while doing so... keep this in mind:

Lyrics - Enigma

Thats not the beginning of the end
Thats the return to yourself
The return to innocence.
Love - devotion
Feeling - emotion.

Love - devotion
Feeling - emotion.
Dont be afraid to be weak
Dont be too proud to be strong
Just look into your heart my friend
That will be the return to yourself
The return to innocence.

If you want, then start to laugh
If you must, then start to cry
Be yourself dont hide
Just believe in destiny.
Dont care what people say
Just follow your own way
Dont give up and use the chance
To return to innocence.

Thats not the beginning of the end
Thats the return to yourself
The return to innocence.

Dont care what people say
Follow just your own way
Follow just your own way
Dont give up, dont give up
To return, to return to innocence.

If you want then laugh
If you must then cry
Be yourself dont hide
Just believe in destiny.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

random thoughts today...

being an indian not only makes me proud due to the commonly known factors like culture, unity in diversity, etc but also the fact that some things come more naturally to us than any other people in this world... sometimes i wonder if people born outside india even think of some things in some ways like how indians do... call it the influence of indian media, call it the classes in the indian society, call it the educational system, call it the family values, we are indeed a special breed...

the power of information can be used constructively as well as destructively... myself being the optimist, i always like to think of constructive ways in life... managing personal information, especially in countries like the u.s. becomes not only a necessity but a social responsibility to survive the information hackers... there was this one time when i had some personal details in a homepage of mine... someone from back home had followed it and approached my family for assistance to their son who was going to join the same school as mine in the u.s... as much as i wanted to help out, i did not appreciate the intrusion into privacy that these people did...

personal experiences and acquired knowledge (be it from education or from media or from family) are the driving factors in the way that we live our lives... the human psyche understands and interprets things as right or wrong based on a personal understanding rising out of judgements/rulings of others' actions... these actions may or may not have been witnessed or felt in person, but could merely be learnt... a small innocent child may touch fire despite the warnings from parents for a couple of times... but as soon as it learns the fact that it can hurt the huamn skin, the child stops to do the same... some things as much as we want to follow, we tend not to listen to when being instructed by others...

while still a kid, during an attempt to offer a piece of advice i scolded someone... and that person didnt even care to listen to what i had to say... i tried giving the same piece of advice again after some time in a more loving tone, and believe me it reached the other person's head and heart just like how i wanted it to... it was obvious that the information had to be passed across, but the means and methodology involved were the key factors in making sure that it did so...

we all waste so much of time fighting with each other, and complaining about petty stuff... everyday i see more unhappy people than happy... if i want to be the change i want to see in the world, like what Gandhi's ideal human would, i would like two things set in every one of us: personal attitude + responsible information management...

Monday, July 03, 2006

getting it done...

in one of the popular writeups about 'how to crack a microsoft interview', i read about the two most critical qualities to possess... 'being smart' and 'getting things done'... i guess, as generic as they may sound, they are very specific points about induvidual personalities and attitudes...

i'm totally sure that every induvidual is in the absolute sense, perfectly capable of acheiving any results provided the right attitude, right energy and the right motivation are put behind the tasks. while that being said, it also becomes necessary for the person to be what is termed 'being pro-active'... being smart is one thing, being pro-active is an entirely different thing altogether...

if i were interviewing a candidate, i would not just look at how intelligent or how smart a candidate is, but would also look into his/her aptitude, drive/thirst to get things done... two of my favourite quotes are: 'quitters never win, winners never quit', and 'attitude is everything'... in a world where only the crazy rats win the race, it is absolutely a must to not just be smart, but to be constantly motivated and self-driven to go out there and get the job done...

Friday, June 16, 2006

taking it easy...

temper... one of the most important aspects of our intellectual beings that takes control of us during emotional circumstances... keeping the calm and taking it easy is much more easily said than done... neverthless, it is reasonable to say that the universal fact remains: the temper and the anger are almost always "after-the-fact"...

keeping a cool head not only defines patience, but also character to a certain extent... if only we could put ourselves in the shoes of the other person... every harsh word spoken is a hard unerasable stain in the mind and heart of another person... there have been a lot of harsh words spoken to me, at me, by people whom i had even considered near and dear... but my lack of worldly-wisdom at the time made me react too strongly internally and take things to heart... but now i do realize that to-each-his/her-own, and it is only human to err... i'm sure i have committed a lot of mistakes knowingly or unknowingly (NO, am NOT going to go to Jesus to bear my sins on his shoulders...)... i do however understand that its not the end of the road, and i will continue to do my best in working toward the greater good and following the inner truth from the heart...

if only i could, i would...
take away the pain and suffering from the struggling...
take away the evil from the selfish rich...
take away the sugar from the lying...
alas i have more ego than power...
for, all i can, is to take care of my own...
and take care not to step on someone for the sake of doing so...

there shall be a dawn, to follow the dusk...
when there will be light, and there will be freedom...
in the name of goodness, people will stop bloodshed for

there shall be a time, a time soon enough...
when we'll all be together...
working toward a common cause...
of being humane... and being true...

if i could, i sure try would! to make this a better place!

- Me

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


out in the woods... i lay on the floor of mother earth... watching the starry night and the mighty skies... for a moment i think i am dreaming, as the only sound i hear is that of the birds chirping and the leaves swaying in thin air... i can still smell the sweet earthy smell all around me... i have no emails to worry about, no cell phones to attend to...

i look to my side, and find an angel with the sweetest of smiles... the one i'd been secretly praying to god, to have as my best buddy for life... being lost in her eyes, i now live in a different world, even more serene and calmer than the world around me... in the silence i hear a thousand words of truth, of love, of trust, of a promise... in this phase i slowly realize how blessed i am, to be in the company of my guardian angel...

while i know that the sun will soon rise, the stars will soon slide, the moments never set aside... i also know that i'm now ready... ready to take on anything... now that i have my angel by my side...

Thursday, May 18, 2006

high and dry...

no. am not talking about the chartbuster metal hit by Def Leppard, but am talking about the emotional states of mind that we go through... when we are high, we sometimes feel the world is not ready for us, and when we are dry we feel the world is too fast... the energy, the enthusiasm, the zeal, comes from within... there are however a lot of factors that are the driving engine behind a livewire...

"Karmanye vaadhi kaa raste maa phaleshu kadaachanaMaa karma phal hetu bhurma te sangotva vikarmani"
- Lord Krishna, Bhagavad Gita !

somebody once said 'show me your friends, i'll tell you the kind of person you are'... although i do not completely agree with this, i feel it is true when it comes to the overall energy levels in people... the people around you, more or less influence you in your way of thinking and even mannerisms in some cases... these influences caused, may be as minor as an 'accent' or as major as 'philosophies' and 'outlook/perception of life itself'...

it is reasonably safe to bet that no two people would experience the same set of things at the same instance of time from the same perspective... we can always put ourselves in the other person's shoes, but whether we REALLY understand what it is like to be them, is only questionable! philosophizing is very easy, and comes naturally to a lot of us who are good in expressing ourselves while drawing our own social limits and sticking to it... as long as we remember that we can NEVER preach what we dont practise... only then does every single word of wisdom and experience becomes of invaluable measure...

while all of us can and will enjoy these high moments, the toughest challenge in our lives come when we are faced with a crisis in our laps... one of the quotes in the national basketball association's (NBA) motivational campaign series of ads on television says 'greatest glories are not acheived by not falling, but rising every time we fall'... the strengths of character, and the courage of the heart... more easily said than done... neverthless, once we make an attempt sincerely, 'to try' even when the odds are not in the favour, make us grow into an entirely different level than mere mortals...

inspiration comes standard (no, not the chrysler ad!!!)... its the heart to follow it, and ears to listen to one's self that makes the difference!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

silence is golden... or is it?

1. have you ever wondered how the quite ones are often assumed to be the intellectual ones in a group?
2. have you ever wondered why somebody is not taken seriously when they talk a lot?
3. have you ever wondered about drawing the right balance between active participation and passive participation when in a group, to actually get your voice heard?

just like most questions, the answer for these also tend to be 'well, it depends'...

imagine scenario 1: you are in the middle of a group discussion session, and your primary objective is not to make your point favourable to the group but to make sure that your participation is visible to the judges, you DO forget about question 3 from above, and go full throttle...

imagine scenario 2: you are in the centre stage of a classroom, set to be an instructor helping a bunch of students over a certain subject... it becomes imperative to be communicatively effective, for starters... here, you DO forget about questions 2 and 3 from above, and selectively talk about topics per the audience/requirements...

while these imaginary scenarios are of frequent occurence and acceptably implementable, the tough scenarios are when we have to follow the thoughts from answers to question 1 from above. while maintaining the thin line between arrogance and humility, we learn to adapt based on the group members, context and sensitivity of the topic under discussion, knowledge and wisdom about the context and subject, all play important parts in our ways of expression... add to these, the natural inclination of an induvidual to be either introvertish or extrovertish or ambivertish, the actual outcome becomes unpredictable...

as we learn and adapt, we also tend to become opinionated, and hence influenced to choose how we want to respond in situations and then participate... the critical moment does arrive when one's actions either leads to a catastrophe in an inter-personal or professional relationship, OR leads to a lost opportunity... every chance not taken, is a lost opportunity to be heard... every bond broken is a chance wrongly taken despite having the power to choose...

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

to talk about it? or not to?

a month ago, i had made a call to my apartment office... the lady who picked up the phone, asked me how she could help me... i told her that one of the ladies at the apartment administrative office was handling my new lease application, and that i was calling in to follow-up with her... then, after a moment of silence, i could not believe what i heard... the lady in all coolness and totally no realization of the impact of her statement, asked me 'is she black or white'... i was extremely shocked by her question, and chose (rightly i think) not to respond to that question... i did tell her that there were only 3 ladies at the small leasing office, so it had to be one of them... i did eventually get through the line and complete the purpose of my call, but what happened in this phone call started making me wonder about a lot of things that go on everyday that people dont even stop for a moment to think about...

the fact that 'black or white' popped up in a casual conversation was not the only bothering issue for me (irrespective of who mentions it), but the fact that the sensitivity of this issue was not even on the mind of the person who told me made me realize that its still inside all people who claim to be 'irrespective of' to have a classification in their psyche 'on the basis of'... i thought of it to be completely disgusting...

a good friend of mine from Texas (back in the days when i was at grad school), now is the vice-president of 'Race and Ethnic Studies' at Texas A&M University, and i remember clearly about her mentioning some of the distinct challenges in such a position at such a State with history, present and potential future filled with lots and lots of people with prejudices and patterns (genetic or otherwise)...

along these lines, it is extremely saddening to note that, in a country like India filled with intellectuals at every level, a hopelessly cheap and political-benefit-only acts like the quota system... the concept provided by people who implement such things is that they want to reduce the gap between the different sections of the cultural divisions... but thinking about it, rather than reducing, it only emphasized the fact that there is a split in the sections... on the basis of merit, and merit alone, reservations could be made, but not on any other factor... just because someone is born in a certain family should not, and must not make it easier or harder for them to get admitted into an educational institution... it would be a shame if we are to see a day when the country is burning the rage of castismic evil... education is the heart and essence of the shape of an induvidual's personality, and it is unfair to set a quota based on caste, or for any other factor other than academic merit...

even a country like the u.s. of a. took its own time to sort out fundamental issues of segregration at the big level... and for a rapidly changing and urbanizing India, it will only be fair to hope... to hope that the sun will rise, for one and all irrespective of caste, color, religion, sex or any other factor... infact, some words like black, white, caste, etc should be eradicated from the dictionary...

Friday, April 07, 2006

having the listening ear, while being assertive...

a lot of times people tend to forget that what they have, is merely a personal point of view and try to impose on others... it is only human that most of us, including myself have fallen prey to this fine line of imposing-an-idea-forcible syndrome... but while we think that we are doing it for the best, we must also realize and put ourselves in the shoes of the listener...

having a strong opinion on something does not, and should not be completely unchangeable, for we all know that change is the only constant phenomenon that we witness all the time... however at the same time, how far would someone go trying to support self-driven perspectives on worldly idealogies? and how easily would one get convinced by another person? i guess its highly subjective and the answer is usually 'well, it depends...'

when it comes to personal decisions, we all tend to follow either a) conventional wisdom, or b)personal instinct, or c)peer-pressure... the significant point to note is that at most times, we choose based on a) or b) and only a few times like while making a professional decision that we are succumbing to peer-pressure... the key to holding these in a nice balance is to sort-out the plan in the psyche and have a listening ear to the 'wise' ones... and once a brain-storming happens between these two, being assertive helps gain the final steps in crossing the bridge successfully... again, the 'wise' ones, may be just a relative concept, and completely contextual (a baseball card collector may be an expert in it, while he may know NOTHING about aeronautics...)... the street-smart take it a step further and do some personal research before making particular decisions... this personal research may include but not limited to looking into historical/statictical data for similar decisions taken, surveying the potential market and do an evaluation of it...

nothing else matters...

Lyrics - Nothing Else Matters - Metallica

So close, no matter how far
Couldn't be much more from the heart
Forever trusting who we are and
nothing else matters

Never opened myself this way
Life is ours, we live it our way
All these words I don't just say and
nothing else matters

Trust I seek and I find in you
Every day for us something new
Open mind for a different view and
nothing else matters

never cared for what they do
never cared for what they know
but I know

So close, no matter how far
Couldn't be much more from the heart
Forever trusting who we are and
nothing else matters

never cared for what they do
never cared for what they know
but I know

Never opened myself this way
Life is ours, we live it our way
All these words I don't just say

Trust I seek and I find in you
Every day for us, something new
Open mind for a different view and
nothing else matters

never cared for what they say
never cared for games they play
never cared for what they do
never cared for what they know
and I know

So close, no matter how far
Couldn't be much more from the heart
Forever trusting who we are
No, nothing else matters

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

somewhere down the lane...

a few years back in my memory lanes, at a space observatory in the largest state within the united states of america, there were a few moments of introspection, that has haunted my thoughts ever since...

this is about a simple philosophy about which someone once said
'its funny but as kids we all desire to become grown-ups, and as adults we all
desire to return to innocence and become kids' - anonymous

how true are those words... while a bunch of us were happily enjoying the demonstration given the lead physicist at the observatory that day, seldom did any of us adults realize that we were merely going through a mindless drill of been-there-done-that routine... until one small kid started a series questions asked by a set of kids in that group... at the end of it, the physicist did make it a point to sweetly but surely let us all know that the strength that lies in the courage of a kid's innocent question, can never be attained by the ever-diminishing quest for knowledge in adults, mainly contributed due to the ever-inflating ego growing within them to huge extents...

a pompous lifestyle, and a stereo-typic so-called high-society life, is one of few things that suffocate me when i imagine how dark it must be out there, in the minds of those mindless people... flying thousands of miles across oceans for business meetings, being amongst the richest people in the world, or even being THE most celebrated personality in the world, is of absolutely no use if we do not learn to live life in its truest sense and see the world with those inquisitive and innocent eyes of the mind... the day we think we know, starts our downfall... (ofcourse, this is assuming that the thin line across the confidence-issue is already crossed over...)...

people inspire me, as well as make me feel sorry sometimes... the greats are often the silent ones, while the ones making all the noise more often than not, turn out to be charlatans... this may be a sensitive topic to open up on, but organized forms of preached-philosophies coupled with fear-driven religion is something that i totally cannot accept personally... this being a whole topic in itself, would just leave it open-ended for the moment...

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

what's so civil about war anyway?

Guns N Roses - Civil War Lyrics

"What we've got here is failure to communicate.
Some men you just can't reach...
So, you get what we had here last week,
which is the way he wants it!

Well, he gets it!
N' I don't like it any more than you men."
Look at your young men fighting
Look at your women crying
Look at your young men dying

The way they've always done before
Look at the hate we're breeding
Look at the fear we're feeding
Look at the lives we're leading

The way we've always done before
My hands are tied
The billions shift from side to side
And the wars go on with brainwashed pride
For the love of God and our human rights
And all these things are swept aside
By bloody hands time can't deny
And are washed away by your genocide

And history hides the lies of our civil wars
D'you wear a black armband
When they shot the man
Who said "Peace could last forever"
And in my first memories
They shot Kennedy
I went numb when I learned to see
So I never fell for Vietnam
We got the wall of D.C. to remind us all
That you can't trust freedom

When it's not in your hands
When everybody's fightin'
For their promised land
And I don't need your civil war

It feeds the rich while it buries the poor
Your power hungry sellin' soldiers
In a human grocery store
Ain't that fresh
I don't need your civil war

Look at the shoes your filling
Look at the blood we're spilling
Look at the world we're killing

The way we've always done before
Look in the doubt we've wallowed
Look at the leaders we've followed
Look at the lies we've swallowed

And I don't want to hear no more
My hands are tied
For all I've seen has changed my mind
But still the wars go on as the years go by
With no love of God or human rights
'Cause all these dreams are swept aside
By bloody hands of the hypnotized
Who carry the cross of homicide

And history bears the scars of our civil wars

I don't need your civil war
It feeds the rich while it buries the poor
Your power hungry sellin' soldiers
In a human grocery store
Ain't that fresh

And I don't need your civil war
I don't need your civil war
I don't need your civil war
Your power hungry sellin' soldiers
In a human grocery store
Ain't that fresh

I don't need your civil war
I don't need one more war
I don't need one more war
Whaz so civil 'bout war anyway

Saturday, February 11, 2006

birth, actions and truth...

"Believe nothing just because a so-called wise person said it. Believe nothing just because a belief is generally held. Believe nothing just because it is said in ancient books. Believe nothing just because it is said to be of divine origin. Believe nothing just because someone else believes it. Believe only what you yourself test and judge to be true. " - BUDDHA

janma - the birth...

"so... do you really believe in rebirth? or do you believe only in eternal hell and eternal heaven?" a couple of questions often asked by people in search of opinions and points of view from the second person... to say the least, these are real tough questions to answer... the main reason for the complexity involved in giving a reasonable answer is the lack of scientific evidence or practical proof to any theories...

if there is anything that is really hard to measure in this world, it is the absoluteness of a new born's innocence... innocence - what a beautiful concept... if anyone tells you it does not exist, it is out of ignorance... every time when we learn something new, we must realize that we have either not known it thus far, or have learnt to ignore learning about it thus far... 'the signs' are all around us asking us to learn, every single moment...

another tough thing to describe, quantify and frame-in-a-box, is to recognice the 'value' of someone's life... i mean, in terms of 'what', 'why' and 'how much' somebody has done in their lifetime for the greater good... we all have a race against time, in the course of which we have an inbuilt overhead of safeguarding one's self against disease... an analogy would be the concept of installing an anti-virus program in a computer... it is not part of the plan to acheive results, but it is a necessity to guard the system against evil viruses... while a major part of everyone's lifetime is consumed heavily by this guarding process, a lot of time is also spent in survival essentials... from our earlier analogy case, we can correspond this case to the power/space requirements...

apart from all the time used up for promiting self-interests, there sure comes enough time when we make the 'choices'... these choices dictate our actions... and our actions our destiny, sometimes even others' destinies...

karma with dharma - actions with 'truth'...

our actions... for the most part, we do think that we have an idea of 'why', and some other times we learn 'why' with time... it becomes of utmost importance to realize the value of 'the greater good' and 'contextual truth'... contextual truth - not the one we all conveniently like to use for promoting self interests and gaining financial and materialistic gains, but the one when the greater good IS kept in mind and does not directly or indirectly alter or affect another person's balanced life in a bad way... the 'intent' being truthful, and the 'consequences' being for the greater good, is what is called for...

the only point of reference for us being ourselves, pointing to another person's mistake and claiming truth in it would be not just absurd, but would be against the truth in the first place... every action done against the call from the heart, be it as small as a penny or as big as the pacific ocean, is like adding fuel to the burning fire, in this corrupted, lying and selfish world that it already is... the fruits of planting such seeds lie not in the present, but in the future...

while there are seasons every year, the cycle for the seasons is within every year... the best part in this context being that, the present does not stand in a specific season, but in the head and heart of the living soul...

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

a fresh start...

after a fun-filled and eventful January, 2006 kicks off in my blogoshere...

it is most often that we take resolutions for every new year... it is very often that we forget them.. it is quite often that we consciously skip it... it is often that we plan to get back to it in the near future... and it is hardly often that we follow it successfully...

one of the primary resolutions that i thought of for the year, is to accelerate this process of self-improvement, in multiple facets of my personality... true to its sense, am still seeking the link to the escallator... as vague as it sounds, i'm quite sure that the thing that gives me personal satisfaction, is on its way in the coming year... for me as well as my near and dear...

and this brings us to the most non-generic and self-centred blog post that i've typed in so far :) but the intent is, to get this blog alive again...

cheers and thanks for reading!