Saturday, 2 May 2020

A story - A moral and Review

A father was sitting on the sofa in his house along with his highly educated son. Suddenly a crow perched on their window. The Father asked his son, "What is this?" The son replied "It is a crow". After a few minutes, the Father asked his son the 2nd time, "What is this?" The son said "Father, I have just now told you "It's a crow". After a little while, the old Father again asked his son the 3rd time, what is this?" At this time some expression of irritation was felt in the son's tone when he said to his Father with a rebuff. "It's a crow, a crow". A little after, the Father again asked his son the 4th time, "What is this?" This time the son shouted at his Father, "Why do you keep asking me the same question again and again, although I have told you so many times 'IT IS A CROW'. Can’t you understand this?" A little later the Father went to his room and came back with an old tattered diary, which he had maintained since his son was born. On opening a page, he asked his son to read that page. When the son read it, the following words were written in the diary:- "Today my little son aged three was sitting with me on the sofa, when a crow was sitting on the window. My son asked me 23 times what it was, and I replied to him all 23 times that it was a crow. I hugged him lovingly each time he asked me the same question again and again for 23 times. I did not at all feel irritated I rather felt affection for my innocent child". While the little child asked him the same question for 23 times, the father had felt no irritation in replying it every time and when today the father asked his son the same question just 4 times, the son felt irritated and annoyed. MORAL: If your parents attain old age, do not repulse them or look at them as a burden, but speak to them a gracious word; be cool, obedient, humble and kind to them. Be considerate to your parents. From today say this aloud, "I want to see my parents happy forever. They have cared for me ever since I was a little child. They crossed all mountains and valleys without seeing the storm and heat to make me a person presentable in the society today. They have always showered their selfless love on me”. Say a prayer to God, "I will serve my old parents in the BEST way. I will say all good and kind words to my dear parents, no matter how they behave". **************************************************** While I do agree with the moral and lesson that this epistle had taught us, I beg to differ on the analogy cited above. It is quite natural to expect a small kid or child to keep asking questions repeatedly. This is because they are in the stage of learning and they are supposed to ask questions repeatedly. However, this is not the case with elders. If elders repeatedly keep asking such questions (as cited above), it is obvious that one gets irritated. Had the grand father of the son questioned the father like this, would have he kept his cool? I doubt. Another aspect is; we say parents shower selfless love on their kids. If they had showered selfless love, why do they expect their kids to take care of them when they turn old? Does it not contradict the world “selfless”? Is it true that they shower all the love and care only to be reciprocated at later stages? Let us be practical. If they had showered selfless love on us, they should not expect us to take care of them at their old age. I do agree that at older age they need more care but not compassion. When it comes to the behavioral pattern, it matters. Will any of the parents allow their kids to misbehave? If they don’t, why should not the kids have a control on their parents if they misbehaved? Slowly, in our country, it is happening that the older ones are neglected by their kith and kin and they take refuge in old-age-homes. There are certain parents who are with negative-self-esteem, literally frustrate their kith and kin with their behavior. How about them? I fully recommend that it is the duty of the kids to take care of their parents when they turn old. At the same time, the parents, being elder and more matured, should behave in a way that they do not cause any irritations. For illustration, taking decisions pertaining to house-hold chorus is the major cause of confusion. For parents, kids always remain kids. However, they should realize that their kids also now own a family and they are matured enough to take their own decisions. With the gap of generations, many a times, their decisions would prove worth than that of the older ones. Parents should not feel they are isolated if they are not involved in such decision making. They should not feel neglected out, if they were taken out – at the least their kids also need some privacy. Parents should not look for an opportunity to prove their presence. Whether they contribute or not, they will be taken care. This assurance should be given by the kids. Unless such things happen mutually, such stories will keep coming on the net.

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

RoI in Training?

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Saturday, 2 December 2017

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Karma An Insight

Karma is one of the widely known Eastern Mystical concepts by the West. Simply put, Karma is a process of Cause and Effect. If you do X, Y will happen. It is about experience and fulfillment of purpose. Karma is not about punishment. The idea that we are punished for sins is, perhaps, a man-made form of social control. In Spirit, there is nothing called absolute right or wrong or Good or Bad. Who are we to decide what is good and what is bad. The great Tamil Poet Subramania Bharati told, nalladu teeyadu naamariyom annai, nalladai naatuga teeyadai oottuga (we are unaware of what is good and bad so, feed me good ones and drive away from me the bad ones). What is good to you might be bad to others. Ahimsa is good but if a lion practiced it how can it survive? We cannot decide what is good and bad as we do not have a universal scale to measure it. The first step in dealing with karma is awareness and acknowledgement of it. Are there any themes that seem to recur throughout our life? Nothing happens by chance. Recurrent themes suggest the existence of karma. Once one understands the karmic themes of incarnation one can start working with them, ie swim with the tide rather than against it. If one finds it hard to acquire or hold money, he needs to practice money management; If one finds it hard to make friends she needs to be that nicer to others… To know on how to work with Karma, one needs Spiritual guidance. Karma is a Sanskrit word originated from the root verb --“Kri” meaning “to do” or “to make”. Karma is a concept of wisdom, which explains a system where beneficial events are derived from past beneficial actions and harmful events from past harmful actions, creating a cycle of actions and reactions throughout a person's reincarnated lives. When we talk about “Our Karma” we’re talking about the actions we’ve “sown” or performed in the past (including our previous lives) that are the cause of what we “reap” in our current life situation. Every action, either physical, emotional or mental, every movement occurring either on the plane of gross matter (Sthoolam) or on the astral planes (Sookshma), causes an emission of Energy. In other words, it produces a Seed. Being a Seed, Karma fructifies or does not fructify immediately after it is sown. The Vedas advocate, “Here they say that a person consists of desires. And as is his desire, so is his will. As is his will, so is his deed; whatever deed he does, that he will reap.” Karma is different from destiny. Fate is the notion that one’s life is preprogrammed by some external power, and one has no control over it. One might ask, “when the life is pre-programmed, so are the actions. How can the karma decide?” The fact is, Karma can be corrected, because human is a conscious being and he can be aware of his Karma and thus strive to change the course of events, with the help of superior powers. Karma will assist you with the wherewithal for your performance. However, the ability part is yours. To get a good life-partner is the result of your karma, however, to retain, sustain and nurture this relationship is in your ability. Karma cannot help here. Karma is of four types namely Sanchita Karma, Praarabdha Karma, Kriyamana Karma and Aagami karma. Sanchita Karma (Sum Karma or "Accumulated actions"): Sanchita Karma is the store of accumulated Karma from all the previous births that are yet to be resolved. This is one’s total cosmic debt. Every moment, either one adds or reduces to it by means of actions. It is waiting to be fulfilled in one’s present or future births. So unless and until the Sanchita Karma of a Soul is zeroed, it keeps on birthing in new physical bodies, in order to exhaust its balance. Sanchita Karma is equated to arrows in the Quiver – either you exhaust it or keep accumulating. Praarabdha Karma (Fructifying Karma or "Actions began”): The portion of the Sanchita Karma destined to influence human life in the present incarnation is called Praarabdha. In other words, Praarabdha Karma is Karmic Template that is ripe enough to be experienced by one and allotted for this lifetime to work on. If you work upon the agreed debt in this lifetime, then more past debts will surface to be worked on. And that much Sanchita Karma gets dissolved. This karma equates to arrows in motion. Kriyamana Karma (Instant, Current Karma or "Being made"): Kriyamana Karma is the daily, instant Karma created in this lifetime because of our free actions. It refers to those which are currently in front of us to decide or act on. This contributes to our Future Karma in a big way. These are debts that are created and worked off - i.e. for example, you enter in the No-entry lane, get caught and got fined (punished) immediately. This is like an arrow in the hand. The Kriyamana Karma is classified into two sub-categories: Arabdha Karma - literally, ‘begun, undertaken;’ the Karma that is ‘sprouting’- and Anarabdha Karma - ‘not commenced; dormant’ or ‘The Seed Karma’. While some Kriyamana Karmas bear fruit in the current life, others are stored for enjoying in future births. Aagami Karma (Future Karma): Aagami Karma is the Karmic Map that is coming, as a result of the merits and demerits of the present actions of your current birth. In other words, it is the portion of Karma that is created because of the actions in the present life and that will be added to your Sanchita Karma. If you fail to work off your debt, then more debts are added to Sanchita Karma and they become more Karmic Seeds and are served to you in more future lives. Some say Karma is luck whereas it is not. Karma is not luck. I am not sure whether luck is for real or just a perception of the mind. Luck is an illusion that’s why it is called Adrisht – means invisible. An invisible power guides and that is termed as luck. If you don’t win a lottery despite repeated buying, stop wasting money on it but don’t blame luck as bad.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Does it make a difference?

Add to Google Reader or Homepage Mr. Pranab Mukherjee has become the 13th President of the Republic of India. Does that make any difference? I am perplexed that in a Republican State, the First Citizen of the country is not elected by the people but by its representatives. Whether you accept it or not, the fact is, the representatives of the people (say MLAs, MPs) are at first, representatives of their party. They hardly represent their constituent or its citizens. Under such circumstances, how can we say that the President is the choice of the people? How many of us, in the wildest of our dreams would have opted for Pratibha Patil for the post of the President? The post of the President has become a joke ever since VV Giri occupied it. Fakruddin Ali Ahmed brought shame to the post and also got the post another name of rubber-stamp just by signing on the dotted lines without a single thought. The post of the President was reduced to a token of loyalty to the Nehru-Gandhi family! Pranab proved it by visiting the graveyard of Gandhi, Nehru, Indira & Rajiv as if there were no other leaders in India! Hardly the leaders debated on the qualities of a person to become a President. Either they argued on whether one is a South Indian or North Indian or a SC-ST or from a Minority community! The media created a perception as if Pranab is the one who was stopping all the reforms and the UPA wanted to get rid of him and hence chose him to the President. If one has to buy this argument, what is the role of the Prime Minister who cannot persuade his colleague to do a task if it is in the welfare of the country? If Pranab is the one who stalled all the reforms, how can you expect him to co-operate with a PM, who once was appointed as the Governor of RBI by Pranab himself? Why is the media trying to hide all the limitations of our PM because they projected him as honest and helped him win again? With the win of Pranab, the media projects as if the Opposition is divided. I don’t say that they were united. BJP, as the principal Opposition party failed to act as one. Of late, they are clueless and are trying to do a piggy-back ride. They did with Ramji in the 90s. They are doing with Ramdev Baba and Anna now. Even in the Presidential elections, instead of fielding their own candidate, they toed Navin and Jaya. What did they want to prove? They now have decided to sacrifice Jaswant in the VP election. Why this guts was not showed in the Presidential election? Sangma had raised the right questions. When we have a code of conduct for even the election of MLA, why cant have it for the Presidential Election? The media is trying to project his complaints as the ranting of a loser. Doling out of huge sums of money to the States (mainly UP, Bihar, West Bengal) by the Planning commission just ahead of Presidential polls raises apprehensions. Shiv Sena always behaved cranky in Presidential election. They never toed the line of their alliance party. They had their own hidden agenda which they work with the prospect. If they had the condition of hanging Afzal Guru or Kasab, the same condition would have been laid with Sangma too! They did not do that! Everyone in the country is aware that Pranab would never go against Sonia or do anything that would antagonize Sonia. What is Bal Thackrey trying to prove us? Just because Shiv Sena voted for him, he would do something that his parent party would never allow him to do so? Nitish Kumar is aspiring for the post of PM ever since he got re-elected in Bihar. So, even the mention of Modi’s name (as he is the contender for PM post and he has the backing too) makes him unrest. To make his presence felt, Nitish went against NDA. Nitish is aware that if he parted ways with BJP, JD(U) would be wiped out just like JD(S). Barking dog never bites! So is the case with Mamata Banerjee! She will make all hue and cry but she has no options but to toe Congress. Less talked about her is better. All of these regional parties had the 2014 elections in mind and accordingly they voted in the Presidential elections. In politics, there is no permanent friend or permanent enemy. BJP is not proactive. BJP used to be a disciplined party but nowadays it is not. In other parties, the leaders are aware that the chief post is reserved for the family that runs the party and they are reconciled to this fact. Whereas, in BJP is not like this. Unlike CPM, they are not disciplined not to make stories. BJP, as said earlier, is clueless. They are waiting, perhaps, for a total collapse of Congress which will never happen. BJP is not realizing the fact that Rahul Gandhi will not keep failing all the time, although he is doing so till now. The party and the party-obsessed media is waiting for one positive result from Rahul Gandhi. If that happened, BJP will be doomed and the media will make it sure to make it happen so. As expected Pranab has become the President. We have wasted a great politician for this decorative post. Let us wait and watch what difference does it make.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Issue out of no issue

Add to Google Reader or Homepage It is not a matter of surprise that our representatives in the Parliament have selective priorities but it is an issue of concern. As if, there is a dearth of issues to be discussed and debated, our MPs chose to make out an issue out of no issue. Yes, I am referring to the recent episode of cartoon involving Ambedkar and the constitution. Not only they made ruckus in the Parliament, they went on to ransack the office of the gentleman who was involved in this issue. As expected no party condemned this violent act while they went berserk on the issue of the cartoon. Tirumaavalavan, is a MP from Tamilnadu who started a party Tamil Vidutalai Chiruttai (Tamil Liberation Panthers – christened obviously inspired by LTTE, the Liberation Tigers). Even Tirumaavalavan is not sure, from whom and for whom he wants the Tamils to be liberated! He initiated this issue in the Parliament stating that the cartoon is insulting the Great Ambedkar. As all of us are aware, anything pertaining to Dalits and Minorities cannot be left alone and one cannot remain silent on those issues as they are the vote-getting factors, every party jumped in supporting Tirumaavalavan, more interestingly wanted to usurp the issue from him for their gains. The objection has no validation if one had seen the cartoon. In no way it is insulting Ambedkar. If at all, it insults Nehru only. The cartoon depicts Ambedkar riding a Snail named Constitution with a whip in his hand and Nehru, in turn, whipping Ambedkar to go fast! Having known that one is riding a snail, how can one expect the journey to be faster? Just by whipping can that happen? This cartoon had clearly expressed that the process of preparing a Constitution will take long time and any sense of urgency is meaningless. Alas! Our present day leaders are not matured enough nor educated enough to understand such things. The objection is invalid on following points too: • This cartoon was made even when Ambedkar was alive and he never protested it • This cartoon was in the NCERT books since six years and an insult to Ambedkar happening suddenly is a question of surprise • Everyone in the public service is subject to bouquets and bricks – one cannot be selective • There is something called Freedom of Expression The protests by the MPs reflect these: • The tolerance levels of those in the Public Service is going down and they cannot digest any views expressed against them – this is a unhealthy sign (even yesterday the speech of Laloo in the House against Anna and Baba Ramdev is a part of such intolerance) • If these men made the history of our country (they are not creating it – please read it carefully), obviously there will be no truth or the percentage of truth in the history will be very less • These gentlemen who fight for a man who made the Constitution are unaware that in the same Constitution there is an Article 19 that gives every citizen a freedom of expression • They are unaware that it’s not Ambedkar alone who prepared this Constitution but a panel of eminent lawyers and Ambedkar was the political face of the panel who chaired it • We, Indians, totally lack the sense of humor A picture is better than 1000 words. Pages of illustration would not have explained this issue better than this cartoon. If the politicians want to get rid of cartoons, first of all, let us get rid of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. Is there a dearth of Cartoons in these Sabhas? Each MP is a cartoon. Shall we get rid of them? These incidents reflect the deteriorating quality of Indian politics. The so called leaders are hunting for sensational or emotional issues. They lack the maturity to handle a comment or appraisal. They create demi-Gods out of their leaders and this is worse than idol-worship, yet they preach rationalism. They can even go to the extent of distorting the reality in the name of history that goes against their policies (I don’t know whether the parties have one). Removal of Kondadeos statue with Shivaji by the Sambhaji group in Pune is an illustration to this.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Why this Hue and Cry - Do we really need this?

Add to Google Reader or Homepage Sachin Tendulkar is nominated for the Rajya Sabha. One cannot describe whether this is a master stroke played by the Congressmen who were literally seeking some media attention. Of course, Congress was trying hard to draw the attention of media but despite all the bias, it was doing it for different or wrong reasons only. Had Sachin joined Congress, then there is no room for debate. He had accepted to be nominated to the Upper House or the House of Elders. If he is elder, he should have given room for younger ones in the team long ago. He is still continuing playing stating he is enjoying the game. May be, he might be enjoying but he never tried to realize whether the spectators enjoyed it or not. If one asked whether Sachin deserved this post, then anybody can answer in negative. Till date, Sachin has never expressed an opinion in open with regard to the affairs of Cricket let alone the affairs of India! He always projected a personality of non-controversial one. He has not displayed any administrative skill till date nor had he got an opportunity. The timing, perhaps, is wrong. He is still playing cricket and the party should have waited till his retirement. But Congress is in urgency, needed some edge and had played this game. At the outset, do we really need the Upper House? The Upper House is literally useless to the common public but useful to the politicians who can use this as a back-door entry to ministerial berths. The provision of 12 nominated members is another joke indeed. They were supposed to be specialists in their respective fields and are expected to serve the Government in that field by remaining neutral. However, this is not happening. Those who are nominated never remain neutral. The worst choice till date was Lata Mangeshkar. It would not be an exaggerated statement if we said that she literally insulted the Upper House by not attending a single session. Leave aside delivering something to the field she represented. If she knew she cannot contribute why agree for nomination. I would not be surprised if Sachin too followed the Lata way as he is busy playing games and shooting ads! The history of nominated members proves this. Their attendance used to be hardly 50 ~ 70%. Very few nominated members take part in debates and pose questions. It is another story that nominated members and independent members do not get priority in posing questions. Anu Aga is another choice. There are women who are more successful than her but she is chosen for her anti-Modi stand. She is rewarded. One is not sure whether Rekha is chosen only to humiliate Jaya Bacchan? I am not sure. Then why people agree to be nominated members? The Sops you get as an MP and the pension amount for life time. The people’s money is squandered like this. If the Govt wanted to represent someone from Sports, there are lot many choices better than Sachin. Retired players and administrators would have been the real choice. The ICC too did not invite Sachin to deliver a speech but Rahul Dravid an Sangakkara. Sachin may be an exceptional player but certainly does not deserve to be an MP. Worse is, the choice of Sachin for Bharat Ratna. Sachin unabashedly expressed that his profession is acting as to avoid additional tax on the brand-ambassador incomes. He has not paid tax for his Ferrari and his new house has got complications with BMC. How can such a citizen be called a Bharat Ratna who does not pay the dues to the Government on time? Cricket craze in India is well known and it is more than a religion and Sachin is God. Congress party, which is looking for some image-boost, had gone for this option expecting crores of his fans to vote for the party. Will it happen or not is not known but the choice of Sachin representing the Upper House is a wrong choice. Same is the case with President’s office. Ever Since VV Giri occupied this post, this Chair has lost its respect. Fakruddin Ali Ahmed was rewarded for allowing Bangladeshis to vote in Parpetta constituency to make Congress win. R Venkatraman read out the message of Rajiv Gandhi in Moscow although he was the First Citizen then and I am still perplexed under which protocol RV did that. Perhaps, the loyalty fact. The list is endless. SD Sharma, KR Narayan, Zail Singh – all of them were chosen just to reward for their loyalty to the family. The choice of Pratibha Patil was a real joke and only Jayalalitaa had the guts to say so in public. She occupied the chair after Kalam who brought some shine to it but Patil worked hard to bring all disgrace to this post. Even this post is not escaping the caste / religion game. Karunanidhi, the great rationalist wants a woman, preferably from Muslim to be the next Prez, Congress wants a woman from Dalit Community or someone from Minority. The irony is, no party is selecting a candidate based on the right qualifications. President in India had never been apolitical. With hung Parliament expected next year, every party wants a rubber stamp who can favor them irrespective of numbers. With such choices, the posts are brought only disgrace. Just like Bharat Ratna lost its sheen, the Padma Awards were doled out as consolation for supporting the Governments, the Upper House and even the President Office is treated like this. Rather than doing like this, Why can’t we get rid of Presidents, Governors and Upper houses that only incurs expenses and do nothing to the common public or to the progress of our country?

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

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Not long ago, the Planning commission of India cut a serious joke by creating a new Poverty line at Rs 32/- per day and drew flak from all corners of the country. The commission was busy quibbling about the details of defining the poverty line. They came out with a new figure of Rs 28/- yesterday. With Bangladesh spoiling the dreams of India’s Asia Cup win, this story did not hog the limelight yesterday.

I am not an economist as our honourable PM is, who is supposed to be an expert in this field but did little with his expertise to improve the situation in our country. As a layman, i am perplexed at the manner in which this poverty line is defined. Do these statistics really measure the right factors and if it measured, is it being done accurately? With these measures, what are we trying to do? Don’t these measures indicate only the buying power of a household?

As I understand, this is the measure to indicate the Government on providing the subsidies to the really needed. However, by keeping this number low (obviously an imaginary number or a fake number), are we trying to prove the world that there are no poor people in India? Yet, the subsidies are not stopped. There are confusions in the manner these are calculated. Imagine a family with an income of Rs 4800/- per month and another with Rs 5000/-. Who is poor? Going by numbers obviously the first family is. However, imagine the expenses of the first family is less (considering the fact that they stay close to their workplace whereas the second family travels a longer distance thus paying more on transportation), who is poor here? Hence individual comparison is not ethical.

The calculation of these numbers was developed in the 70s. They decided the line according to average consumption expenses of households where per capita consumption of 2400 calories in cities and 2100 calories in villages. I am still confused why the calories intake in urban has to be more than the rural area. Since then, this line has been updated using consumer prices indices only.

Various committees have come out with different figures of poverty line by measuring it in variety of methods. The official line delivers a poverty rate of around 32% of the population. The Suresh Tendulkar committee estimated it at 37% (based on calories consumption), while another led by NC Saxena said 50% (based on nutrition values), and in 2007 the Arjun Sengupta commission identified 77% of Indians as "poor and vulnerable". The World Bank's PPP (Purchasing power parity) estimate of Indian poverty was higher than 40% in 2005, while the Asian Development Bank arrived at almost 50%. The UNDP's Multidimensional Poverty Index finds the proportion of the poor to be higher than 55%.

Congratulations to you if you had not still fainted after going through the figures. Is it not the time to separate the people’s real needs from the arbitrary assessments of poverty which have guided our Government so long? With the changing lifestyle, i am sure the calorie consumption too would have gone for a toss by now. Under such circumstances, what can these numbers have something to do with the calorie consumption?

This figure is a bone of contention to the State Governments too. The categories of BPL (Below poverty line) and APL (Above) were made to discriminate supply of cheaper grain (subsidized) through PDS. With federal system in practice, the responsibility of delivery of such services and goods to BPL lies with State Govts whereas Central Govt only allocates resources. Although the BPL is decided by the sample survey, the number of households (in reality) in BPL is far high from this imaginary figure.

Should we not include the shelter, clothing (power of buying here?), jobs, primary health care, basic amenities like availability of drinking water, toilet, electricity etc.,? A recent survey showed that 40% of 2011 batch MBAs are jobless as they could not find one. Where are projects to provide employment? Every year, a team of 9 million freshers seek employment. What are the plans to deal with such a situation?

How about the growing disparity between the rich and poor? The rich is becoming richer and the poor stays there. The volume of middle class families in India is increasing in multiple folds from year to year. Corporate Social Responsibility is one factor that has no mention among Indian entrepreneurs but for a few. Unless the corporate come out and give it back to the society, things will not improve.

Intentionally, i am avoiding the issue of corruption here as it is known to everyone that this has a major role to play, however, we are indifferent towards corruption as we have accepted this as a walk of life. Let the academic debate continue on the definition of poverty line. However, it should not be cooked to show a perception that the volume of poor population is getting shrunk. This is nothing short of cheating the public. The expertise of our super economist PM should not be wasted in cooking up figures but to be put in use as to give this country some constructive solutions!

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Tag Game - self appraisal of my blogs

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Thursday, 18 August 2011

Am I right or Wrong?

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My cynical views on the recent episodes of Fasting and Arresting of Anna Hazare!

A story - A moral and Review

A father was sitting on the sofa in his house along with his highly educated son. Suddenly a crow perched on their window. The Father ask...