March 21, 2007 at 8:08 am | Posted in People | 3 Comments

How much courage does it take to stand up to a whole platoon? Especially if that platoon belongs to your country? Especially if you are standing up for the side who is part of the enemy? Especially if you are standing for nothing more than what is right? For what is just?

Please read about Hugh Thompson and his two friends, the heroes of My Lai. Actually, I would call them heroes of the world. The true role models for young people.

When I was young and naive (or should I just say more naive), and preparing for CAT interviews, like most of us all, I had my list of “People I admire the most” (typical interview question you had to be prepared to face). Mine was headed by Christopher Reeve. For sheer grit and courage in the face of extreme adversity. Imagine the strength required to be able to say “I will survive, I will walk” when doctors call it impossible. Strength inspite of a complete absence of any concrete basis for hope.

Hugh Thompson, Lawrence Colburn and Glen Andreotta stand the tallest in my book anyday, anytime.

Message for Sanjana

March 16, 2007 at 5:48 am | Posted in Sanjana | 2 Comments

Happiness is elusive. You think you have it in your hands, and the next second, it has slipped out. It comes in a flash. And can be identified and trapped only by the owner in question. Only you can control your happiness.

Inspite of its inherent slippery nature, you will encounter it quite often. The trick then, is to make sure you hold it down every time. The pursuit of true happiness should be your aim in life. Every thing else,is, afterall, secondary.

Where you might encounter trouble is- when your happiness conflicts with that of someone you care about. At these times, I would urge you to remember that
a) You have to be fair and honest in your dealings. If the pursuit of happiness makes you breach one of these, well, it has become a pursuit of self and
b) Anyone worthy of your love should not resort to emotinal blackmail and should be happy about anything that makes you happy.

Which brings about a message for myself- Never will I let tradition/convention/social mores/someone’s preconcieved ideas interfere with my daughter’s happiness. Having brought a child into this world, it is my responsibility to ensure that she has unconditional love, irrespective of ANYTHING else.

Just wanted to note it down- should have something to remind me of how I felt now, say some 20 years hence.

Happy Birthday to…

March 15, 2007 at 5:13 am | Posted in People | 4 Comments

Happy Birthday to Devinder Singh.
Sudeep might laugh, but Devinder is by far THE BEST writer I have ever come across- actaully, I credit a lot of “bests” to him. He could answer pretty much any question I put to him- and with minimal effort, considering I am worse than any two year old when it comes to tell me whys. Plus his replies were simplistic enough to get to the crux of the matter within a sentence or two. In the sense, his concepts are extremely clear. His hold over fundamentals is simply astounding.

This was a role reversal of sorts for me. At college I was thought to be the Fin Dude. I could answer any question on Finance (that was, of course, because those questions came from Level Zero in Finance- terrirific at MAR/HR guys). And as one classmate commented, “She always preceedes her explanation wiht ‘Oh, thats so simple’, and THAT is so irritating, because I would have been slogging at that, unsuccessfully for over four hours “.

With Devinder, the reverse was true- He seemed to know everything, and though he never said Oh, thats so simple, it was quite obvious from his explanations, that the question did not even touch him, intellectually. I felt like I was asking a math Ph D about basic theorems in trignometry or something. Those were areas he had covered loooooong loooooooong back. But the nicest part about him was, he never showed intellectual arrogance at any time. Which even I, with what limited reading/knowledge I do, tend to do occasionally. Something tells me a reason for that probably was the degree of confidence we had about each other.

I could never see devinder worry about his next appraisal, or what his boss would say for a faux pas, or why he should have done that document better or anything. Typical fears that CONSTANTLY plague me. The result of that on my overall character is one of the things I absolutely hate about myself. The brashness and apparent lack of sensitivity that comes across.

Anyway. Back to Devinder. Hope you have a great birthday and a terrific year ahead.

PS – The “Oh, thats so simple” or similar were totally unintentional. Did not notice, actually, until the lady in question brought it to my attention

March 12, 2007 at 7:15 am | Posted in forecasts, growing up, predictions | 7 Comments

Last week, I spent about 4 hours at a totally unproductive meeting (unproductive for me, atleast). As always, with strategy-related meetings, there were a lot of Gartner/Tower Group studies discussed- and one of them claims India is to be the 4th largest economy in terms of GDP/PPP or something like that by – hold your breath- the year 2050. Come on, guys! FIFTY YEARS? Fifty years is the time limit I would consider to write science fiction- and a prediction of GDP? Sheesh. How do you come up with 4th, anyway? why not fifth? or the third, for that matter? I mean, if you are going ot make a forecast, wouldn’t you atleast give yourself good room for approximation? Say something like, will be in the top 5 countries of the world, or some such?

There are people who keep asking me what Sanjana’s sun sign is (I used to belong to that tribe myself, oh, some 10 years ago). I don’t remember (WHAT kIND OF A MOTHER IS SHE??). I think she’s a Libra (b. 9th Oct). This was from one of those seekers of information. Not sure. And don’t really care anyway. The days when I used to believe Aries was absolutely the best sun sign every, Adarsh Vidyalaya was the best school ever, B Com was absolutely the most fun/smart class every, my music sir was absolutely the greatest master ever, etc. etc. are looooong past. Its part of what is called “growing up”. 🙂 I guess. I hope.

Freedom is an illusion. It always comes at a price.

March 7, 2007 at 12:06 pm | Posted in coincidences, life, problems | 5 Comments

Thats a line from Stroud’s “The Amulet of Samarkand”. Is there a message for me there, i wonder. Freedom is ALL I have been thinking about the past few days, and suddenly this line jumps out at me from the book. Not that I am toeing the line espoused by Bach in Illusions, (the book of knowledge types. If you look for an answer, you will find it). I think thats total gibberish.

For one, its something like a prophecy. If you want to find meaning in nonsense, you will. Take Nostradamus’ prophecies for one. Pick up one, and I bet you can find a way to relate it to a range of everyday events – from the US invasion of Iraq to the totally unimaginative budget from the Finance Minister. For another, in a book of 300 plus pages, and approximately 7000 lines, you are bound to find something that strikes a chord. Simple application of the law of probability.

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