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Monday, December 22, 2008

Aftermath of Mumbai - 26/11

This is a very sad moment in the lives of all of us from India….!!! However, we have to face this phase in life and respond to our surroundings in responsible manner.

At the outset, let me salute the martyrs of this attack in the order that follows.....

1) Those innocent citizens of India, who succumbed to the hate game of invisible enemy who programmed the whole activity taking advantage of our corrupt & inefficient system and the office bearers of it ( May it be politicians, may it be inefficient bureaucrats).

2) The staff of those hotels, who did not mind about their lives, but chose to guide and reach as many to safety. Many of them let their lives in the process….!! I salute them from my heart for they had options to safety, but chose the other way.

3) Those Security Personnel (Police, ATS, NSG and all of them), who lost their lives during when the were doing their duty brave heartedly and selflessly and ofcourse,

4) The brave journalists who reported the incident to the nation, gambling with their life and with lot of integrity and intelligence by not showing certain parts live as it would have hampered the purpose and the direction of the operation and of course, for bringing all those cared together and to make a consensus on the issue, which had shaken the intelligent politico and made them cautious as well.

However, the fools remained fools and got trapped themselves into lot of mess by their own hollow lip service, which other wise they would have got away with some excuses or a U turn & apology…!!!

Now, let us scrutinize some important facts emerged out of discussions, statements and very sad incidents in the last 4 – 5 days.

a) Anger against politicians…

A very understandable anger against the political class and their insensitive statements are seen across the country….Every one who deals with it is still glorifying the response in connection with this particular incident and looking it very superficially. But this nation wide response has much more under current than what is seen outside….!! It is an outburst of the people who had suffered a lot, in the name of corruption, pseudo secularism and the lack of sensitivity, intelligence and competence by the political class. However, we should understand that even though the uncouth and bleak politico are blamed for lack of accountability and on top of that their controversial comments and statements made them fools in front of the citizens, the real inefficiency is of the system and the bureaucracy which is by and large, inefficient, obsolete and incompetent. So the ire against politicians is only the ire against ‘Shikhandi’ of Mahabharatha. Hence, the urgent need is to re-engineer the system in terms of technological sophistication and a competent & dynamic bureaucratic leadership as well as the team. The lack of an integrated umbrella agency on top of the various agencies across the country to guide and initiate action on the basis of the intelligence reports is causing damage in terms of delay or denial of action despite receiving enough intelligence inputs from various sources. Hence such an agency has to be constituted and empowered to monitor the action taken by the various executing agencies and each agency should be held accountable for their action & inaction.

b) A B Bardhan’s comment expressing concern and fear over the reactions of the people and he was very critical about the same. Even M A Naqvi meant the same, but could not express in proper words and fell prey to his own insensitivity

Instead of being critical about the response of the people across the nation, why don’t one look at the political class, who had abused the power, position and their clout indiscriminately over and over for such a long period, regardless of the political outfit they belong to and without even a glare of sensitivity towards the people of this country who actually positioned each one of them in their respective places, whether big or small..!!As he rightly pointed out, it is a dangerous signal to ignore, but the action/ reciprocation is bound to happen from his colleagues from each outfit, by changing their ways and becoming more accountable and transparent in whatever they do. Can he assure it in this mindless world of populist and opportunistic politics…?!! If he does not initiate this process, what he intended or may be more than what he meant may happen and it would demoralize the faith in the largest democracy of the world very soon and the repercussions may be out of any one’s control. Let us constructively do everything to avoid such an impact.

c) The systemic failure and the inability to plug it.

This is an alarming fact, which was admitted by our governance publicly by multiple numbers of Politicians, Ministers and the Bureaucrats. However, the alarming fact is that our reaction to the situation is not quick enough and still the blame game is going on, instead of constructive action.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Around Us

This is a story of one my old friends, who’s a veteran & pragmatic social activist called Gopakumaran Nair, who has lots of knowledge and has a very clear mind on helping people voluntarily. We used to spend some time together, every evening. However, of late, the daily schedules of all of us became so hectic that we were finding it difficult to spend some time together. This man with his experience, knowledge & multiple skills set should have been some vice president or CEO cadre in any organization.

Believe me, this wonderful gentleman is amazing as far as any profession you talk about in this earth as he’ll have a clear idea about the subject. More over, if he doesn’t know much about anything, he’ll be very honest to admit and next day he’ll come up with an opinion about the same after researching about it.

He used to help people voluntarily and as a matter of fact, he had helped me also by solving many crisis situations in my personal/ professional life. He has a very clear attitude & principles in his life. He’ll not accept anything for any service he is doing voluntarily and the same way he’ll charge you very professionally as per the market price if he’s doing a service professionally. However, between friends I have seen him waiving off lots of money for the services, he had done taking lots of pain and involvement.

Recently when I met him, I had seen him little upset and I asked him the reason. He told me that he undertook a freelance project for some of his friends, which used to happen in the nights. The project was in the nascent stage and his role was to support the onsite team abroad. As the project was in the very beginning stage, he didn’t have much to do. However, his presence was very much soothing for the individual who was coordinating the project (it was a morale boosting experience for him). After putting in some consistent efforts, the project was brought in to the track. 

However, according to GKN (Short form of Gopakumaran Nair), it required lots of improvement as far as the basic systems and processes are concerned and he sounded this to his friend who’s coordinating the project and also pointed out the flaws in the current system which may hamper the project in the long run. The result was that GKN was kept out of the loop on the developments.

GKN didn’t react much though he understood what is happening around him as he didn’t want to lose the friendship. But it was obvious that the inevitable will happen and one day,  exactly as expected, when the payment date arrived, he was asked to pack up citing the reason that there is no sufficient revenue generated and that there was no or limited contribution by him in the project. GKN was bowled out by the comment as he recollected the same person’s words praising his caliber and exposure exactly a month ago. He was hurt by the other person’s insensitive comments and stopped going there. When he explained this to me, even I felt thoroughly disturbed about the insensitive behaviour of his friend, who’s known to me too. I told GKN that I can intervene in the matter, but GKN is a unique person by himself and his reaction was as given below…

How can I ask him to pay me when I personally know that they have not started making enough out of that project? And more over, when he sincerely feel that my contribution in the project is not sufficient for him to convince his partners, I strongly feel that as a true friend I should not put him in trouble by putting pressure on him.” When he finished these words, there were tears visible in his eyes…even though he gave a feeble try to cover it up….!!

I always had respect for people like him, who had imbibed the values and principles, which will definitely make their life smooth and  satisfying for themselves, though they go through such hard times due to the ignorance of this world towards the integrity, values and principles. But I'm personally lucky to have a group of people who are in great heights in various walks of life and we stand by each other in such rough patches in life.    

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Friday, July 4, 2008

The act of wealth making…!!

Making wealth by working hard was never a sin anywhere in this World. Even Indian epics describe about wealthy people like ‘Kubera’ and depicts Lakshmi Devi as ‘Godess of Wealth’. This preface was to express that even I am personally not against the act of wealth making.
However, I have my own principles and values driven way of doing it. These values were induced by a very strong system prevailing in my maternal family which was traditionally land lords & orthodox. What I mean to say is that genuine & very principled way of wealth making was encouraged in my family and equally and still more aggressively, in-genuine/ over night way of wealth making was criticized…! My father had a humble beginning and a strong will and hard work took him to heights. However, he remained a good human being first and then a good professional. He had preached only what he practiced and he is still one of the most influential human being in my life, who actually moulded my character. I am inspired to continue in the path right to my conscience with an unbiased thought process and I strongly advocate for values in this world of opportunism and unethical ambitions. I come across many stagnant phases in life which could have otherwise made me ordinary in the name of pragmatism. However, around me I see a huge group of people, who just consider that wealth making is the only goal in life and they take pride in adopting any mean way to achieve this. Here, I would not blame them as individuals, instead the system prevailing is corrupting their minds.
Again, there are 2 categories of people, one who don’t bother much about anything else and admit or get exposed about the hollowness in their thought process. Their thoughts & actions are very visible and they don’t mind about that at all. They normally do everything to acquire wealth and they do all the possible gimmicks to show off that they have got wealth by purchasing material assets to the extent possible and then talking about it in every occasion regardless of suitability. These kind of people are very commonly seen in our every day encounters in life. I had always been empathetic with these people depending on the base character of them. Many of them were very plain and the actions they do are basically a reflection of many psychological suppression they were forced to do during their tender years due to lack of every thing, what they enjoy right now. However, some times these people go weird in some of their actions, which makes me intolerant. The second category we’re talking about is very different from the former one. These people are comparatively educated and having good knowledge about what is good and what is considered not good. Some of them are even philosophic and devotees of one or more modern Gurus too. Now, up till this point everything looks perfect, rosy & decent. But, when it comes to wealth related issues, these people shreds off those philosophical mask and come out with the real ugli face and make you feel shame of being close to them. These people try everything to avoid getting exposed in this front, but miserably fail to do so…. Personally I have lot of reservations to associate with these pseudo philosophers. Some of them ( whom I had come across ) had criticized me stating that I am not fit to survive in today’s practical world. I always have heart felt pity for them and seriously, I can only be sympathetic to them. I would like to quote a story to express my view on ethical/ unethical wealth per my view...any similarity of the characters with anyone is just coincidental ....

They are flamboyant… They are talked about every where… Their father had a humble beginning and grew the business in front of their eyes… After his death both together took over the conglomerate and finally, in this journey of so called success, they both split to grow further! They have the best possible influence in any possible governance of the Country.

Interesting ….is it? I had read many articles about them and in one of those, I came across a sentence mentioning that ‘wealth creation is no more considered a sin in India’ and hence they decided to join and continue with their father’s business…!! As a matter of fact, the genuine way of wealth creation was never considered a sin in India and it is all the same ever.

As a common man, I was always an admirer of them and used to quote them as visionaries, in my interactions with many people across the country. Of late, I had an opportunity to evaluate some of their group organizations to find out how some of my clients can do business with them and in the back ground check, I was startled to know that they never keep up their promises as far as financial commitments are concerned and hence, I recommended my clients to ignore the proposals, however big and promising it may seem to be… Recently, in an interview in a leading news channels, there was a question asked by the interviewer to one of these brothers…that’s when the other one opened an IPO and got over scribed by the public…!!! She asked when shall she expect an IPO from him ( The other brother who was interviewed) and his answer was that he has enough money, so he doesn’t have to go to the market. But now my question is that the money he is arrogantly boasting of having is whose money…? His business associates and the service providers and the suppliers of his organizations are the scape goats………!!! Is this ethical? I know there are many small time service providers who literally cry to survive due to either late or no payments from his organizations…!!! And you are in the process of building a billion dollar home for yourself and you are in the list of first ten rich people according to Forbes business magazine…and so on…!!!

Despite all the accusations his late father faced, he was never reluctant to pay his associates. He used to understand the need to feed them as they were the back bone to his growth…? Is it that this son of that father forgot that a business is built on the values it carries over a period time? Or is it the beginning of the End, which may eventually come over a period of time……? It could be possible that despite all the sophisticated systems they had put in place, the people in the mid-management levels are goofing up things in order to achieve appreciation and there by their personal gains by sycophancy and a virtual improvement in the cash flow at the cost of poor suppliers and service providers.

As far as these poor species of suppliers/ Service providers are concerned, neither they have the strength to fight the huge muscles of such a conglomerate, nor that anyone will help them in fighting these ill practices..!! Many of them tried to borrow and sustain and eventually perished in the process as the margins with such a big deal used to be always wafer thin…and some of them terminate the contract and write off what is due to them.

Is this the right way of wealth making? Is this what business is all about? Is this the ethical way of doing business? This particular way of wealth creation is still a sin anywhere in the world. People simply don’t bother to think about others when it comes to money…!!

Many a times I used to wonder whether I’m wrong in expecting the business to be ethical..?! However, each time I come across some of the well run business which do not vary on policy decisions and very specific & clear about what they promised, what they are doing and what they want to do?, I am reminded that I’m not wrong. These business groups commit only what they can do and nothing else…!! Very clear and ethical and their business is steady for years together and some of those business houses are older than both these brothers…!!

My request is that I still have great appreciation for their achievements and what I expect from them is that they will have a periodic feed back from the public & associates which should be able to keep them informed of what’s happening around…

I don’t aim to be the number one in what I am doing…I would like to be a good human being doing ethical business for safeguarding my investors’ aspirations by doing an ethical and legal business respected and appreciated by every one associated with me.

Change Management

Have you ever felt like the walls are closing in? Does it seem you have hit that ceiling and have gone as far as you can go? What about the experience of having the bottom drop out? It sure can feel like life has boxed you in, which makes you feel congested or suffocating…To Cultivate Change, my philosophy is that each of us is at some time constrained by:
  1. our beliefs and assumptions
  2. our learned behaviors
  3. our ability to evaluate our experiences
  4. our fears and resistances
  5. our definition of our “self”
  6. our distorted sense of reality

These are the 6 walls life presents us with to keep us boxed in. As you feel pressure or resistance from these “walls”, you may find it difficult to catch your balance. However, you should realize that there are skills you already have, which when paired with the right strategies, will actually allow you to easily leverage whatever experiences to bring your way…

It has been said that, with the right attitude, any thing is possible. Attitude does play a role. However, if you hold on to past experiences or make assumptions, you are pulling in on the walls that keep you where you are, in that comfortable place. If you continue to do things as you always have, how do you expect things to change? If you believe what you always believed, your results will be similar over and over again. Albert Einstein said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same things and expecting different results”. Something other than our circumstances must change in order for us to experience a different outcome.

Desire + willingness to change = Action & Action + Purpose = Fulfillment

hange is inevitable. Change is constantly occurring. The more we resist change, the harder our lives tend to be. And life has its own way of moving us forward. Some of the biggest hurdles to our progress come in the form of “life changing” events such as health issues, job loss, car accidents, and an act of nature. Many charities have started as a response to a “life defining” event for someone. Laws are established in response to a situation in someone’s life that was not desirable. Every change makes an impact on many people. You choose whether the impact on you is positive or negative.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

It Bothers.... bothers....

When I see those children in the street in the hot sun...
When I see the expression in their innocent turned into crook faces...
When I empathize with them.....
When I buy new clothes & toffees for my children in front of them....
When I decide to buy for them and do against that.... bothers....

When I see their happiness, despite their hungry bowels....
When I feel 'not enough' at each purchases.....
When I drink mineral water in front of them....
When my children recite rhymes in front of them... bothers me....

Why there are these double standards by God....?!!!
However,I don't want any justification for that.....
It is not an equal world outside.... bothers me alot...!!!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Swamiye Saranamayyappa.....!!!

The following are the excerpts of my reply to a debate I had participated on the 'legitimacy of the government in providing affidavit for allowing entry for women in 'Sabarimala Temple'...

"I t is nice to see an arguement/ debate brewing up under the pretext of the issue of 'Ladies climbing Sabari mala', 'cause this issue had been doing rounds of debate for atleast last 5-6 years in various circles- intellectual, political, religious across the world, wherever Indians & Malayalis are there. Now, the latest forum might be ours and it is very natural & acceptable too....

I would like to mention that the tradition of 'Hinduism' ( again west brands it as pagan culture and we strongly believe & say (not practice) that it is not just a religion, but a way of life...) had been existing in this universe for thousands of years and we experience that unlike other so called 'isms we carry forward very strongly with just the values imbibed by the generations on & on....!! Remember, all these carried on not because of yester days' moral polices or 'cause of some fanatic outfits, who actually brought adverse publicity to our tradition. As we all have the right to express our views & feelings, I respect every individual's view on the topic and take it positive to the extent possible.....

We need to really understand the root of the problem and discuss, rather than reacting to a very recent intervention of the government. In democratic & secular India, who gave the authority to make temples the properties of the government or semi government bodies? Did the so called representatives of the government check the consent of the 'hindu public' or the devotees before creating a rule to form devaswom boards eyeing the huge treasure and the power to rule and dictate terms in the functioning of the Hindu temples? More over, who are these governments and how much they deserve to intervene in temple affairs or nominate their panel as the devaswom board employees as these governments have secured majority with the minority vote banks....? More over, let me understand whether any of these representatives of people have the political guts to create another board of administration for other religious pilgrim centres, even when there are public fights happening for the rights on the properties between groups in other religions....!!!! Kindly do not think that I'm deviating from the subject...!!! The relevance is that the governments will go to any extent to make Hindu pilgrim centres into a picnic spot and thus try to open up another avenue to mint money.....!!! As individuals and devotees, who live the Hindu way of life, it is our responsibility to keep our customs & traditions intact and gather moral right to fight the demoralisation attempt by any quarter....

So...before even starting the debate I request every one to analyse what are the values we are following and always keep up that analytical mind to keep a check on our activities....!! I don't go to temples every day...( as a matter of fact, I currently live in hyderabad ), and I do not go to every temple, just for the sake of going...!! I go to temple, when I have time & energy and patience. I do not take any special advantages, even though I may get because of my aquaintance with the priests & the committee. This is a self imposed rule and I follow plz understand Lord Ayyappa has never asked anyone to come to sabarimala every year.....but it is the individual who need to take a call on whether he can follow the vratha or is it necessary to follow vratha...there's no comparison like I do it because the others are doing it and sleeping or not sleeping or more than that....?!!! If you believe that these vratha and all are barbaric and obsolete, then RESPECTED SIRS, who had compelled you to go to Sabarimala? Ok...still you want to dilute all these in the name of corporate etiquettes and so on...( Plz understand we human beings can get thousands of excuses to justify each of our activities ), go ahead and let your belief save you.....!!!

I would like to conclude like an individual, I keep my values intact and follow it for satisfying my conscience....However, I don't expect it from others in this mad world....I'm quite happy about what I am and so far in my life God has supported me in every independant moment of my life and I beileve it will continue so, unless I don't change my path....!!! For all these information and guidance, we should start listening to our conscience.....!!! First touch your heart and start listening to the Ayyappa within....!!!

Let Lord Ayyappa forgive every one in this world and shower his blessings to all.....!!!

Swamiye Saranamayyappa....!!!"

Monday, January 21, 2008

Indian Of the Year

Every other channel is competing with each other to find their own brand of Indian of the year, nowadays...!! Some of them had already come up with the results and many are in the process of selcting one....!!!

Each channel has their own number of panel members and a small group of 'elite' audience to influence the selection and the viewers are asked to spend their valuable 'INR' by sending SMS to effect their vote for their choice from a small choice list of people.

The funniest thing is that as a person, I failed to understand the logic and the methodology of selection of these panelists, audience and ofcourse, the nominees....!!! It is really entertaining when you come across some panel members and even some of the nominees....!!! But in this era of media 'company', we are all helpless spectators and preys...!!!

As I was forced to watch many of these shows to avoid the saga of 'saas, bahu and their poor hubbies', it was startling to see some shady ones on the dias and talking about patriotism and other developments of the mankind....?! They talk as if they've presented a thesis on this subject.

n one of the channels' choice list, I came across Shah Rukh Khan (for his role in Chak De ), Chak De girls, Rajinikanth etc. in the category of entertainment. It was sad to notice that the name of Mr. Negi ( The film was made on the true life story of this great player of yester years, who went on to coach the world cup winning women's hockey team later, to prove his commitment to the country which was under scrutiny once ) and no one in the dias, nor in the audience had the senses to mention his name even....!! However, I had only one consolation uttered to myself......"hey cool yourself dude....This is Thackerays' and Bachans' and Laloo's get noticed....not a straight forward, conscience pricking citizen like Negi".......Yes, definitely India is shining...!!!!!!!

This is happening across the channels in their respective quality levels and I would like to end with only one comment, that in no channel the equal opportunity is provided.....!!!!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Freedom of Unbiased Thought Process & Expression

This is a very funny memory which makes me and the people around me to laugh on and on.....This happened when I was studying in 2nd std in Govt.Aided Lower Primary School in Kerala. My class teacher used to send my classmate to get tea from his father's shop nearby during our second period every day. Seeing this I too had a desire to drink tea and one day I got money from home ( the tea costed 10 paise ) and gave this chap and asked him to bring one tea for me too.....Seeing another tea cup ( Steel tumbler and a cup under it) a surprised teacher asked him, whom did he bring it for...? The innocent chap told that he brought it for Padmanabhan....!!! First the teacher burst into laughter and then he scolded me saying that students are not allowed to drink tea inside the class room....!! He allowed me to drink tea saying that it is only one time excuse....!!!!

That day evening, the teacher came all the way to my house for the dinner to meet my dad and they were laughing, citing my mischief.....I was literally embarassed at this sight and my dad called me and told softly that whatever I had done was wrong, because it will tempt others to do it and the discipline of the class will be affected. Immediately I had an answer ready with me...' I got tempted because teacher was drinking in front of us...' . Teacher and dad went into another series of laughter and in the end he told that he had learnt a great lesson from me and next day onwards he stopped drinking tea inside the class room.

I still say this example at all the orientation classes, I had taken for teachers across the country during my social development projects. I owe my dad a lot for the freedom of thought process, he induced inside us and the freedom to respond to anything, even if it is done by him and he used to remind us no one is unquestionable in this world....including U and me!!

Note: I dedicate this post to that innocent friend who used to bring tea for the teacher, who went on in his life to become a "Chenda" artist (A traditional musical instrument of Kerala) and left all of us due to an unprecedented heart failure during a performance at Sabarimala Temple in the laps of Lord Ayyappa.