Saturday, December 30, 2006

Forwarded wisdom!

There was a one hour interview on CNBC with Warren Buffet, the second
richest man who has donated $31 billion to charity. Here are some very interesting aspects of his life:

1)He bought his first share at age 11 and he now regrets that he started too late!
2)He bought a small farm at age 14 with savings from delivering newspapers.
3)He still lives in the same small 3 bedroom house in mid-town Omaha, that he bought after he got married 50 years ago. He says that he has everything he needs in that house. His house does not have a wall or a fence.
4)He drives his own car everywhere and does not have a driver or security people around him.
5)He never travels by private jet, although he owns the world's largest private jet company.
6)His company, Berkshire Hathaway, owns 63 companies. He writes only one letter each year to the CEOs of these companies, giving them goals for the year. He never holds meetings or calls them on a regular basis.
7)He has given his CEO's only two rules. Rule number 1: do not lose any of your share holder's money. Rule number 2: Do not forget
rule number 1.
8)He does not socialize with the high society crowd. His past time after he gets home is to make himself some pop corn and watch
9)Bill Gates, the world's richest man met him for the first time
only 5 years ago. Bill Gates did not think he had anything in common with Warren Buffet. So he had scheduled his meeting only for half hour. But when Gates met him, the meeting lasted for ten hours and Bill Gates became a devotee of Warren Buffet.
10)Warren Buffet does not carry a cell phone, nor has a computer on his desk.
11)His advice to young people: Stay away from credit cards and invest in yourself.


Sunday, August 06, 2006

Draupadi-an intrigue

I have been thinking about some topics to dwell on and research. I have particularly found the character of Draupadi from Mahabharata, quite intriguing. Long time back, while in college, my room-mate and best friend, was reading a book on Draupadi called Jagyaseni by Pratibha Roy. It was in Oriya, so I could not have the good fortune of reading it, but my friend was sweet enough to take me through it while reading it herself. And I was immensely amazed and involved in that book. I tried finding an English or Hindi version of the same but I could not. I don’t know if its translations exist at all.
Even after that instance, I have come across the story of Draupadi in bits and pieces, here and there. There have been short stories and instances from Mahabharata. What I recall of the Mahabharata we saw on TV, I think the story was not perfect! Besides, I think the story shown on TV was quite straight and in white and black. It never attempted to dwell on each of the enigmatic characters of Mahabharata, and even Ramayana, for that matter. And I truly believe that the Mahabharata which we normally come across, is a little exaggerated. You definitely don’t believe that Bhishma would have slept on a bed of arrows for days and that too, pointed side up!!! I remember, I read in Times of India perhaps, that it is written in Mahabharata that Bhishma slept on a bed of arrows. Now this could also be interpreted as a bed of arrows, wherein the arrows are side-ways and not the pointed side up! But we like to believe what we like to believe.

Friday, August 04, 2006


I read somewhere that “in life, when you start feeling jealous about a friend and the way she feels about her job, well, dude, it is time for you to move on!”
Of late, I have been thinking about what would I really want to do with my life! Should I make it just a money-spinning ride? Or go beyond it? I don’t know. I mean I try to think about this objectively. As much as possible. I have quit my job. You can call it a little whimsical or impulsive decision! In fact, it does not sound for real at all! I HAVE QUIT MY JOB! Man!!!What am I going to do? (For starters, I do not have an Offer letter in hand). How am I going to find another job? And one more problem I am facing is that, what kind of job would I want to do? I don’t know if I am asking this question to myself, a little too late. But some of us live our entire lives, even thinking about this aspect.
Life never fails to intrigue me. I did not get it out of choice. I got it by chance. What am I supposed to do with it? Nobody told me! Well, people tried telling me, but I always thought otherwise. My family thinks I just keep on hopping from one thing to another just for the heck of it. But I think I pity myself for living about 25 years of my life, and not knowing what am I going to do for the rest of it.
Right now I am looking for jobs which are similar to the one which I have done for the last one year, just because it is the most logical thing to do. Although I already overlooked logic and sense (in the accepted form) while quitting.
My boss thinks I am not only foolish but also stupid. I don’t want to even think about that aspect. I think I am reasonably intelligent. I think logically. So I am fine in that department. The problem is I ask too much question from life. People think I am crazy to give up such a dream job and go back to starting from the scratch. However, I think that if I know where I am going and what I want to achieve, then I would not mind starting it from scratch. The problem is I don’t know.
Let me see, what my options are. I am really really keen on is a short-term course in creative writing. I want to tell stories but I don’t have any right now. In India, there is hardly any decent institute conducting any such course, which is worth my time and energy. Besides, I also love reading. I have gathered from somewhere that if you love reading then publishing houses are the place for you, where they receive a lot of manuscripts. You have to go through them and identify the money-spinners. I would love to WRITE. I know I am telling this nth time but then that is the only truth of my life. I dream of a place where I am surrounded by all the books I want to read and I am being paid to read them. How cool!!!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Oh Beautiful world of Romance

Lately, I am in the process of re-discovering the simple and innocent joys of Archies' and Mills & Boons! They remind me of the carefree and restless days of teenage, the mushy imagery of the world outside, the perplexity of unknown future, the infatuations, the temptations, the enormity of unimportant issues, the girlie-gossips!!! Teenage comes alive!
Mills & Boons, for the beginners, are novels with out of the world notions of romance and passion. A gullible teenage mind comes to and tends to believe in the love portrayed by those novels. But when you grow up, you understand the innocence behind it all. A typical M&B romance would have a 19-25 year old female protagonist, and a 35-5 year old male protagonist. A female contender, who would always be older than the heroine and a male admirer, who would always be younger than the hero! The heroine would always be either a secretary or a nurse or an interior decorator or the likes. While the hero most definitely would be tycoon in whatever field that suits you. The heroine would be a delicate beauty and the hero would be a tough and rugged but extremely handsome man! And they have to keep fighting and make love off and on till the "lived happily ever after" end! So, as you can see, I have cracked the code of M&B.
I read somewhere that M&B mostly has female readers and several male authors write under female pen names because believe it or not, such romantic novels are meant for and read by women, the world over. Look at me, I have read close to 200 M&Bs. Romance always takes the tension out of the window and word looks rosy-coloured. Isn't it?

Friday, July 07, 2006

It rained last night!!!!

It was the 5th day of consecutive rains in Mumbai. A Wednesday. I had went to office on Tuesday only to find that hardly anybody had turned up, so I just ended up checking my mails and sailing through the pages on Orkut. Then we had trouble coming back home also. Since the trains had already stopped thus I had to rake my brains and decide whether to accompany my friends in a cab or just wait for the trains to start working again, no matter how much time it takes. I have a thing against taking roads in Mumbai, it takes unnecessarily loooooooong time to reach your destination and especially at a time when everyone would be rushing home, I was unable to decide whether it is sensible to take a cab home—from Worli to Andheri, that too Andheri-east!!! Anyways, I always think it is better to get stuck with 3 other people with you rather then be grounded alone as I am not very well-versed with Mumbai yet, and besides I have no other place to go, except home! So I had to give up the temptation of taking the train.
Luckily, we had no problems till Bandra, where we dropped 2 of our friends. Then we took the highway, till Vile Parle. From there, my friend’s car picked us up; and she dropped me on the Andheri Western Highway. I was relaxed after that because my place is quite close to it, so I walked till there. Since the time I have walked from my office in Worli to Andheri, it has become a standard for me. So whenever I have to decide to walk I compare it with 26th July’s experience, and I know if it is within my capacity!!!
I reached home safely, and shortly after that it started pouring like anything. So from Tue evening and the entire Wed, I had lots of time on hand. I watched TV non-stop, nothing in particular, news in general! And I read Archies’ and also started a Mills & Boon. MBs are funny things. I think it is unrealistic, senseless, too naïve and too teenager-type for me! But I still like to read these romantic novels to take the tension out of my system. It takes you to another world. It does not matter that it is still stupid. But I am not ashamed to admit that I have read more than 150 of these stupid novels. They are real stress busters.
And guess what, I am sure many people came across a fully-clothed Rakhi Sawant taking interviews yesterday, on India TV. So for CNN-IBN’s Citizen Journalist Raveena Tandon Thadani , India TV answered with Rakhi Sawant!!!Pheewwww!

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Insensible Sensitivities

Human beings are really an incomprehensible, insensible and strange lot. Yesterday while I was surfing channels on TV, I saw Amir Khan giving interviews and he sounded angry. That was enough to hold my attention more than even any of our own ads! What I heard and comprehended turned out to be such a stupid issue that I wonder why I am writing about it and why it has become a matter of national debate. The point of contention is Amir’s film “Fanaa” being stopped from being screened in Gujarat, because apparently Amir had offended the sentiments of the people of Gujarat by supporting the rehabilitation of people being affected by Narmada dam!Whoof! First of all, I wonder what is wrong with supporting the rehabilitation of people who would be affected because of the dam. Secondly, I fail to understand why people of Gujarat would be offended by someone being rehabilitated.
Even right now, while I’m writing this, I’m watching an interview of Amir with Rajdeep Sardesai on CNN-IBN!

Friday, May 26, 2006

No Reservations about thoughts

Reservations! Right now, it is the talk of the town, or more specifically, the country. But look at me. I am also one of the many people who are sitting on the saddle and watching the match, as if this does not affect us. We have done this so often that now we have got used to it. Be it the government of our country, the political situation, the freedom of expression, the crime against women, the illogical societal norms, the mindless riots, the terrorism, the injustice—we wait for others to go ahead and fight case on our behalf. We are happy to be part of the crowd. Nameless! Faceless!
Frankly speaking, I have not been able to decide whether I am in favour of reservations or against it. I think Reservations for SC, ST & OBC were institutionalized to uplift them at par with others. Over the years, the so-called “lower caste” people have been oppressed and victimized by the “upper-castes”. The reservations in educational institutes were to educate them and uplift their status in the society. Another thing was that over the years, these people had been fooled into doing menial jobs for others. Now with education, they can take decisions and be aware of the consequences of those decisions.
Going a little back in time, Mahatma Gandhi introduced castes & religions to Indian politics (I have no idea why?). And everyone knows what this caste-based politics has come to be today! Selfish politicians play games with poor, uneducated lower-caste people, and fill their vote-banks; and promise food, housing, jobs, better infrastructure and now, reservations in return. Nobody is bothered about what happens to the “General" category. All political parties are playing their dirty politics with the future of this country.
We have had reservations in our system since years; I don’t know how much it has helped. Like any other noble idea, it has gone haywire. My own observation of so-called lower-caste people has been that sometimes I have found entire families of doctors and engineers; while sometimes there are families who have not been able to educate their children to primary school also. They have no idea, how to! It is quite obvious that the rich are getting richer and the poor, poorer.
The idea behind reservation is to uplift the weaker sections of society. For that matter, I would not shy away from raising the issue of reservations for women. I don’t know there should be reservation for women or not. When I think about our local trains, and imagine life without Ladies’ compartment; I’m all for reservations for women in local trains. I cannot imagine travelling in the General compartment. The problem would be obvious if you have seen a local train; and you would empathise, if you have traveled in one. But when it comes to reservation in educational institutes, I don’t really think, it is required. I accept that women are physically less strong than men, but intellectually they are at par! But the point again comes to the fact that we have a history of years of oppression of women. So perhaps for sometime this reservation can help bring more & more girls to school, and ensure representation of women in every sphere of society--be it education, academics or politics. Now this problem leads to the problem of girl-education. Thus, the problem is so complicated and inter-related that it is very difficult to say that we do not want reservations at all!
Coming back to the current problem, we definitely do not want 50% of our seats reserved. Imagine fighting for only half the seats. Already, it is accepted that the entrance exam for IIM Ahmedabad is one of the toughest in the world. Imagine what would happen to the next generation. Would it be worth fighting for getting into IIMs & IITs of the country? Even now, people start questioning their own abilities when they fail to get through IIMs & IITs. As if not getting there makes you less intelligent and a lower grade individual. People have gone places and conquered world without those degrees. There is no doubt about the quality of people who make it to these premiere institutes, but we cannot question the intellect of thousands who don’t make it. The problem now moves to our education system and social orientations and acceptance. You can gauge the difference in the attitude of people when they discover that you are from IIM or some other MBA institute, similarly, IIT vis-a-vis regional colleges. In fact, even my orientation also is similar but of course, it is not logical! We have too many prejudices and limitations. The problem is also that most of our parents expect us to be doctors or engineers. There is no doubt that their intention is to see their children successful and secure in life, but sometimes they take it a little too far.
Moving back to the main issue of contention, I think in no time, most of the educated class who can send their children abroad, would start looking at it as a better option. When you start getting step-motherly treatment in your country, you need to look beyond it. And in no time, government would crib about brain drain.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


During my appraisal discussion, my Boss told me, that I should be more Aggressive.Even my immediate boss says I should be aggressive.Initially, as the easily-motivated sort I am, I thought, Yeah!they are right. I need to be more aggressive and dominating. They told me, Advertising is a field where if you are not aggressive, people will take you for granted and would not give you importance. But now, I think, should I be in a job which takes away the very essence of me! Is it worth it!I think I am sensitive, emotional and very unlike the hardcore go-getter. But that is my personality. And those qualities make me sensitive.Perhaps, I am at a wrong place or profession.
I always dream of being a writer. I have no idea, what would I write!In fact, in my whole life, mostly I have written poems. Out of which, most of the poems, I have written during school, which now seem too childish.I have written 2-3 poems in the last 2-3 years. Would that qualify me as a writer!Even if the answer is in affirmative, I would be tagged, very slow!Does not matter! Sometimes I think about leaving everything, and start writing. But I have not found my inspiration!

Monday, April 24, 2006

I should or should I?

Sometimes when I see poor people begging, I find myself in a dilemma. Whether to give them money or not! Everytime this happens to me. I feel sorry for them but never have I been able to come to a conclusion. In fact, it also happens when I see poor, old people working. So many times, it brings tears to my eyes but these are some of the things, I have not been able to make an opinion about. Why does a person beg? Either he does not want to do hard work or does not have an opportunity to do any work. Then what do you do. Give him few coins, and that's it! What difference would that make to his life. The poor, little kid, who keeps asking you for money because he has not eaten anything for days or all his siblings begging around......all of them.....what future do they have? Here I think about my future and my career; and how whatever I have is not enough. I think about what do I want to do in my life. I have choice. They have none. Even survival is a big question mark for them.
Then there is another thing--pity. I pity those people who have to do hard manual labour for living. I don't know whether I should pity them. Is hard work, worthy of sympathy or it is like any other work? What is wrong with hard work? Why my heart sinks when I see a labourer pushing a cart full of load? I don't know. I really have no answer!

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Going back in time

Today I was going through my old posts. It was a great experience. Truly. It brought back all those memories back, the exhiliration of being placed in my dream company, the phase of aimlessness,the joys of reading, and lots more. I marvelled at my own written words! I wonder why have I not written any poem for so long! By the way, now my plan is to get into the arena of short stores. Let's see when and how I start.
Just now I was also thinking about my new hair cut. I am also planning for streaking my hair. Now how's that related? Well, new things! Perhaps that is what I need to do. Perhaps, after a point life gets monotonous and you just need to incorporate new things or changes to breathe a new lease of life into your daily life! If we go on doing the same things, we would get the same results. Heard that before?

Another day from the book of Life

All these months, while I was working and acting very busy, I have missed blogging terribly. I always think, life at Mumbai is too exhaustive. You don’t have time to think of anything else but work. And that can create emptiness inside you. My problem, perhaps is that I think too much about things which I should not, and too superficially about things, which I should. I like to believe that I love reading and writing. But I have no time! Or rather, I am lazy, too lazy to take time out from my “busy” days. But now I have decided (one of those resolutions!!!) to make the most of my time and days.
Today I saw “Water” by Deepa Mehta. I would say I am plain lucky to have been at the place where it was being screened. And somehow I decided to join the people watching it. I knew they were screening Water but I did not know it was that controversial movie. I liked the movie over all but critically speaking the actings of John Abraham and Lisa Ray left a little more room for improvement. But atleast here, John acts! I had found Lisa good in Kasoor, but of course Divya Dutta dubbed for her. I n Water, especially, when Lisa Ray comes to know about the name of John’s father. I thought, that particular moment demanded more to be spoken in terms of expressions and body language! Or, how should I put it, this scene needed a little more weight. Because it was a crucial moment in the story. Also, I did not particularly like the way John reacted when he came to know that Lisa had committed suicide. I thought it seemed that Lisa had just gone out of town rather than out of this world. But undoubtedly, Seema Biswas and the little girl were brilliant. All said and done, I think Deepa Mehta’s effort is laudable. And more than that she deserves a salute for her determination to make this movie. "Water" evoked in me a thirst to know more about the plight of those women in the past. I remember, I read in India today (or was it Outlook?) that in Vrindavan, there are still such ashrams where widows stay together. They pass their days raying and do not have any money on them for their sustenance. They are required to live a life of giving up everything in the name od widowhood. Today, in this world, this whole idea seems ludicrous, but in those days, this was the reality for any widow. I am glad I was not born yesterday....I mean in those days. May be I was, in some other body, in some other form!
Right now I am reading Collected stories Part-2 by Shashi Deshpande and May you be the mother of a Hundred Sons by Elisabeth Bumiller. After reading 4 books by Shashi Deshpande and hundreds by other authors, I have reached a conclusion today-- I love this author. Or rather I would say, I idolise her. If I ever became a writer, I would like to write like her. Her stories are actually not stories. Not in the typical way. It does not necessarily have a typical beginnng and the cliched ending, but it tells you a story. A very different kind of story. It would tell you about complexities of characters, of life being grey, of plethora of emotions, stories held in moments, hours or a few days. The books which I am going to read next are Ice-Candy-Man by Bapsi Sidhwa and Mediocre but Arrogant by Abhijit Bhaduri.