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Christian Persecution in India: The Real Story
We have heard about what the Christians in India have called the persecutions against them. However, there is much more to this story than we often hear, and there are certainly two sides to it. The following is a first-hand investigative article that relates what has really been going on with the Christians in India, much of which has been kept from the public. This shows the duplicity in the Christian activities in India. This article, by Francois Gautier, is reprinted from the “Annual Research Journal, 2001” published by the Institute for Rewriting Indian [and World] History.
WILL HINDUISM SURVIVE THE PRESENT CHRISTIAN OFFENSIVE?
By Francois Gautier
When Prime Minister Vajpayee was in the US in September (2000) , the National Association of Asian Christians in the US (whom nobody had heard about before), paid $ 50,000 to the New York Times to publish “an Open Letter to the Honorable Atal Bihari Vajpayee, prime minister of India.”
While “warmly welcoming the PM,” The NAAC expressed deep concern about the “persecution” of Christians in India by “extremist” (meaning Hindu) groups mentioning as examples “the priest, missionaries and church workers who have been murdered,” the nuns “raped,” and the potential enacting of conversion laws, which would make “genuine” conversions illegal. The letter concluded by saying “that Christians in India today live in fear.”
The whole affair was an embarrassment (as it was intended to be) to Mr. Vajpayee and the Indian delegation, which had come to prod American businessmen to invest in India, a peaceful, pro-Western and democratic country.
I am born a Christian and I have had a strong Catholic education. I do believe that Christ was an incarnation of Pure Love and that His Presence still radiates in the world. I also believe there are human beings who sincerely try to incarnate the ideals of Jesus and that you can find today in India a few missionaries (such as Father Ceyrac, a French Jesuit, who works mostly with lepers in Tamil Nadu) who are incarnations of that Love, tending tirelessly to people, without trying to convert them.
But I have also lived for more than 30 years in India, I am married to an Indian, I have travelled the length and breadth of this country and I have evolved a love and an understanding of India, which few other foreign correspondents have because they are never posted long enough to start getting a real feeling of this vast and often baffling country (nobody can claim to fully understand India). And this is what I have to say about the “persecution” of Christians in India.
Firstly, it is necessary to bring about a little bit of a historical flashback, which very few foreign correspondents (and unfortunately also Indian journalists) care to do, which would make for a more balanced view of the problem.
If ever there was persecution, it was of the Hindus at the hands of Christians, who were actually welcomed in this country, as they have been welcomed in no other place on this planet. Indeed, the first Christian community of the world, that of the Syrian Christians, was established in Kerala in the first century. They were able to live in peace and practice their religion freely, even imbibing some of the local Hindu customs, thereby breaking the Syrian Church in two.
When Vasco de Gama landed in Kerala in 1498, he was generously received by the Zamorin, the Hindu king of Calicut, who granted him the right to establish warehouses for commerce. But once again, Hindu tolerance was exploited and the Portuguese wanted more and more. In 1510, Alfonso de Albuquerque seized Goa, where he started a reign of terror, burning “heretics,” crucifying Brahmins, using false theories to forcibly convert the lower castes, razing temples to build churches upon them and encouraging his soldiers to take Indian mistresses.
Indeed, the Portuguese perpetrated here some of the worst atrocities ever committed in Asia by Christianity upon another religion. Ultimately, the Portuguese had to be kicked out of India, when all other colonisers had already left.
British missionaries in India were always supporters of colonialism. They encouraged it and their whole structure was based on “the good Western civilized world being brought to the Pagans.” Because, in the words of Claudius Buchanan, a chaplain attached to the East India Company, “Neither truth, nor honesty, honour, gratitude, nor charity, is to be found in the breast of a Hindoo!” What a comment about a nation that gave the world the Vedas at a time when Europeans were still grappling in their caves!
And it is in this way that the British allowed entire chunks of territories in the East, where lived tribals, whose poverty and simplicity made them easy prey to be converted to Christianity. By doing so, the Christian missionaries cut a people from their roots and tradition, made them look westwards towards a culture and a way of life which was not theirs.
And the result is there today for everyone to see: it is in these eastern states, some of which are 90 per cent Christian, that one finds the biggest drug problems (and crime) in India. It should also be said that many of the eastern separatist movements have been covertly encouraged by Christian missionaries on the ground that “tribals were there before the ‘Aryan Hindus’ invaded India and imposed Hinduism upon them.”
The trouble is that the latest archaeological and linguistic discoveries point to the fact that there NEVER was an Aryan invasion of India –it just was an invention of the British and the missionaries to serve their purpose. Aryanism is a synonym of Vedic culture.
Secondly, Christianity has always striven on the myth of persecution, which in turn bred “martyrs” and saints, indispensable to the propagation of Christianity. But it is little known, for instance, that the first “saints” of Christianity, “martyred” in Rome, a highly refined civilization which had evolved a remarkable system of gods and goddesses, derived from Hindu mythology via the Greeks, were actually killed (a normal practice in those days) while bullying peaceful Romans to embrace the “true” religion, in the same way that later Christian missionaries will browbeat “heathen” Hindus, adoring many gods into believing that Jesus was the only “true” god.
Now to come to the recent cases of persecution of Christians in India at the hands of Hindu groups. I have personally investigated quite a few, amongst them the rape of the four nuns in Jhabua, Madhya Pradesh, nearly two years ago. This rape is still quoted as an example of the “atrocities” committed by Hindus on Christians.
Yet, when I interviewed the four innocent nuns, they themselves admitted, along with George Anatil, the bishop of Indore, that it had nothing to do with religion: It was the doing of a gang of Bhil tribals, known to perpetrate this kind of hateful acts on their own women. Today, the Indian press, the Christian hierarchy and the politicians, continue to include the Jhabua rape in the list of atrocities against Christians.
Or take the burning of churches in Andhra Pradesh a few months ago, which was supposed to have been committed by the “fanatic” RSS. It was proved later that it was actually the handiwork of Indian Muslims, at the behest of the ISI to foment hatred between Christians and Hindus. Yet the Indian press, which went berserk at the time of the burnings, mostly kept quiet when the true nature of the perpetrators was revealed.
Finally, even if Dara Singh does belong to the Bajrang Dal, it is doubtful if the hundred other accused do. What is more probable, is that like in many other “backward” places, it is a case of converted tribals versus non-converted tribals, of pent-up jealousies, of old village-feuds and land disputes. It is also an outcome of what — it should be said — are the aggressive methods of the Pentecost and Seventh Day Adventist missionaries, known for their muscular ways of conversion.
Thirdly, conversions in India by Christian missionaries of low caste Hindus and tribals are sometimes nothing short of fraudulent and shameful acts. American missionaries are investing huge amounts of money in India, which come from donation-drives in the United States where gullible Americans think the dollars they are giving go towards uplifting “poor and uneducated” Indians.
It is common in Kerala, for instance, particularly in the poor coastal districts, to have “miracle boxes” put in local churches. The gullible villager writes out a paper mentioning his wish such as a fishing boat, a loan for a pucca house, fees for the son’s schooling. And lo, a few weeks later the miracle happens! And of course the whole family converts, making others in the village follow suit.
American missionaries (and their government) would like us to believe that democracy includes the freedom to convert by any means. But France for example, a traditionally Christian country, has a minister who is in charge of hunting down “sects.” And by sects, it is meant anything that does not fall within the recognized family of Christianity — even the Church of Scientology, favoured by some Hollywood stars such as Tom Cruise or John Travolta, is ruthlessly hounded. And look at what the Americans did to the Osho movement in Arizona, or how innocent children and women were burnt down by the FBI (with the assistance of the US army) at Waco, Texas, because they belonged to a dangerous sect.
Did you know that Christianity is dying in the West? Not only is church attendance falling dramatically because spirituality has deserted it, but less and less youth accept the vocation to become priests or nuns. And as a result, say in the rural parts of France, you will find only one priest for six or seven villages, whereas till the late seventies, the smallest hamlet had its own parish priest.
And where is Christianity finding new priests today? In the Third World, of course! And India, because of the innate impulsion of its people towards god, is a very fertile recruiting ground for the Church, particularly in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Hence the huge attention that India is getting from the United States, Australia, or England and the massive conversion drive going on today.
It is sad that Indians, once converted, specially the priests and nuns, tend to turn against their own country and help in the conversion drive. There are very few “White” missionaries left in India and most of the conversions are done today by Indian priests.
Last month, during the bishop’s conference in Bangalore, it was restated by bishops and priests from all over India that conversion is the FIRST priority of the Church here. But are the priests and bishops aware that they would never find in any Western country the same freedom to convert that they take for granted in India? Do they know that in China they would be expelled, if not put into jail? Do they realize that they have been honoured guests in this country for nearly two thousand years and that they are betraying those that gave them peace and freedom?
Hinduism, the religion of tolerance, and spirituality of this new millennium, has survived the unspeakable barbarism of wave after wave of Muslim invasions, the insidious onslaught of Western colonialism which has killed the spirit of so many Third World countries, and the soul-stifling assault of Nehruvianism. But will it survive the present Christian offensive?
Many Hindu religious leaders feel Christianity is a real threat today, as in numerous ways it is similar to Hinduism, from which Christ borrowed so many concepts. (See Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s book: “Hinduism and Christianity”)
It is thus necessary that Indians themselves become more aware of the danger their culture and unique civilization is facing at the hands of missionaries sponsored by foreign money. It is also necessary that they stop listening to the Marxist-influenced English newspapers’ defense of the right of Christian missionaries to convert innocent Hindus.
Conversion belongs to the times of colonialism. We have entered the era of Unity, of coming together, of tolerance and accepting each other as we are, not of converting in the name of one elusive “true” god.
When Christianity accepts the right of other people to follow their own beliefs and creeds, then only will Jesus Christ’s spirit truly radiate in the world.
[The author, who writes “The Ferengi’s Column” in The Indian Express, is the correspondent in South Asia for Le Figaro, France’s largest circulating daily. He has just published “Arise O India” (Har-Anand).]
(Another Indian who fight for united Hindus in India and across the Globe. To stop all human violations in India and see ‘developped India’, Hindus need to be united as one single deciding force, be it political or non poliltical. Welcoming and thought provoking interview. – Balaji Canchi Sistla)
Rajiv Malhotra, author and Hindu intellectual, is the man who developed the “breaking India” theory in his eponymous 2011 book. Malhotra has written prolifically in opposition to the academic study of Indian history and society, especially Hinduism, as it is conducted by scholars and university faculty of the West, which, he maintains, undermines the interests of India “by encouraging the paradigms that oppose its unity and integrity”.
In an interview with R. Jagannathan, he speaks about the dangers that Indian and Hindu nationhood face today.
• Can you give us a brief history of how you developed the “breaking India” theory?
• The “breaking India” thesis is not something I came up with overnight. It is not a matter of merely coining a term; it is the product of my lived experience in the US for over 45 years. I have been collecting a whole lot of experiences and…
It is no secret why the British replaced the indigenous education system and Sanskrit gurukuls with English education. They wanted to create a class of Indians who think like the British and in this way weaken India. Sanskrit culture und Vedic knowledge were the backbone of Indians. This backbone had to be broken. English medium education did it to a great extent. Indians were cut off from their precious tradition, and they had to study in a completely foreign language, as if this was an easy thing to do. Somehow, the children of the tiny elite managed. They were motivated to make it into colonial government jobs and English was the only gateway. Naturally, these westernised students and their offspring, who had no roots anymore in their own culture, influenced the future of independent India in a big way.
So it is no surprise that even after Independence, English medium…
(……..While the main aim of Westerners is to defame the legacy of India and her customs, one West born Bharatian reveals the very truth of West atrocities towards India and reveals concrete facts of India and her expertise in Science thousands of years ago. Thanks Maria ji for elightening the rest of the World and unware Indians even today of their legacy. – Balaji Canchi Sistla)
When I was in high school in Germany, I had a recurring phantasy. I imagined that some fine day the anchor in the news broadcast announces that science has found proof that God exists. This was at a time when doubts started creeping in whether it was true what I had believed so strongly in childhood, and such an announcement, I felt, would settle the issue once for all.
This was in the 1960s, when science made great strides for example in space exploration. Yuri Gagarin, the first astronaut in space, allegedly said after returning to earth that he had not seen any God out there. His statement did not carry too much weight, as he was Russian, and we Germans generally did not trust any Russian during the height of the cold war…
Still, for those of us who knew a little about history and were interested in science…
(This article is an eye opener for so many so called ‘Secularists’ in India who always refer Gandhi ji as their mentor. If that’s true, the so called ‘Secularists’ learn from Gandhi ji. Be a true follower of Gandhi, that is how one can respect his ideology! – Balaji Canchi Sistla)
“So far as one can understand the present Christian effort, it is to uproot Hinduism from its very foundation and replace it with another faith.” – M.K. Gandhi
Mahatma Gandhi was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1937, 1938, 1939, 1947, and a few days before he was assassinated in January 1948. He did not receive the prize because he refused to be converted to Christianity and severely criticized missionary work in India. His firm stance is an example for us to follow today. India is being subjected to an accelerated pace of evangelization by foreign missionaries through their NGOs – World Vision being the leader – and paid Indian Christian surrogates, with the connivance of corrupt, minority-appeasing State and Central government administrators.
Government officials pay lip-service to Mahatma Gandhi as the Father of the Nation on national holidays, but they have otherwise forgotten him and his teaching. Their…
Here is an amazing story from a flight attendant on Delta Flight 15, written following 9-11:
On the morning of Tuesday, September 11, we were about 5 hours out of Frankfurt, flying over the North Atlantic .
All of a sudden the curtains parted and I was told to go to the cockpit, immediately, to see the captain. As soon as I got there I noticed that the crew had that “All Business” look on their faces. The captain handed me a printed message. It was from Delta’s main office in Atlanta and simply read, “All airways over the Continental United States are closed to commercial air traffic. Land ASAP at the nearest airport. Advise your destination.”No one said a word about what this could mean. We knew it was a serious situation and we needed to find terra firma quickly. The captain determined that the nearest airport was 400 miles behind us in Gander, New Foundland. He requested approval for a route change from the Canadian traffic controller and approval was granted immediately — no questions asked. We found out later, of course, why there was no hesitation in approving our request.
While the flight crew prepared the airplane for landing, another message arrived from Atlanta telling us about some terrorist activity in the New York area. A few minutes later word came in about the hijackings. We decided to LIE to the passengers while we were still in the air. We told them the plane had a simple instrument problem and that we needed to land at the nearest airport in Gander , New Foundland, to have it checked out.
We promised to give more information after landing in Gander .. There was much grumbling among the passengers, but that’s nothing new! Forty minutes later, we landed in Gander. Local time at Gander was 12:30 PM …. that’s 11:00 AM EST.There were already about 20 other airplanes on the ground from all over the world that had taken this detour on their way to the US.
After we parked on the ramp, the captain made the following announcement: “Ladies and gentlemen, you must be wondering if all these airplanes around us have the same instrument problem as we have. The reality is that we are here for another reason.”
Then he went on to explain the little bit we knew about the situation in the US. There were loud gasps and stares of disbelief. The captain informed passengers that Ground control in Gander told us to stay put.The Canadian Government was in charge of our situation and no one was allowed to get off the aircraft. No one on the ground was allowed to come near any of the air crafts. Only airport police would come around periodically, look us over and go on to the next airplane.
In the next hour or so more planes landed and Gander ended up with 53 airplanes from all over the world, 27 of which were US commercial jets. Meanwhile, bits of news started to come in over the aircraft radio and for the first time we learned that airplanes were flown into the World Trade Center in New York and into the Pentagon in DC.
People were trying to use their cell phones, but were unable to connect due to a different cell system in Canada . Some did get through, but were only able to get to the Canadian operator who would tell them that the lines to the U.S. were either blocked or jammed. Sometime in the evening the news filtered to us that the World Trade Center buildings had collapsed and that a fourth hijacking had resulted in a crash. By now the passengers were emotionally and physically exhausted, not to mention frightened, but everyone stayed amazingly calm.
We had only to look out the window at the 52 other stranded aircraft to realize that we were not the only ones in this predicament. We had been told earlier that they would be allowing people off the planes one plane at a time. At 6 PM, Gander airport told us that our turn to deplane would be 11 am the next morning.Passengers were not happy, but they simply resigned themselves to this news without much noise and started to prepare themselves to spend the night on the airplane.
Gander had promised us medical attention, if needed, water, and lavatory servicing.And they were true to their word.
Fortunately we had no medical situations to worry about. We did have a young lady who was 33 weeks into her pregnancy. We took REALLY good care of her. The night passed without incident despite the uncomfortable sleeping arrangements.About 10:30 on the morning of the 12th a convoy of school buses showed up. We got off the plane and were taken to the terminal where we went through Immigration and Customs and then had to register with the Red Cross.
After that we (the crew) were separated from the passengers and were taken in vans to a small hotel. We had no idea where our passengers were going. We learned from the Red Cross that the town of Gander has a population of 10,400 people and they had about 10,500 passengers to take care of from all the airplanes that were forced into Gander!
We were told to just relax at the hotel and we would be contacted when the US airports opened again, but not to expect that call for a while.We found out the total scope of the terror back home only after getting to our hotel and turning on the TV, 24 hours after it all started. Meanwhile, we had lots of time on our hands and found that the people of Gander were extremely friendly. They started calling us the “plane people.” We enjoyed their hospitality, explored the town of Gander and ended up having a pretty good time.
Two days later, we got that call and were taken back to the Gander airport. Back on the plane, we were reunited with the passengers and found out what they had been doing for the past two days.
What we found out was incredible…..
Gander and all the surrounding communities (within about a 75 Kilometer radius) had closed all high schools, meeting halls, lodges, and any other large gathering places. They converted all these facilities to mass lodging areas for all the stranded travelers.Some had cots set up, some had mats with sleeping bags and pillows set up.
ALL the high school students were required to volunteer theirtime to take care of the “guests.” Our 218 passengers ended up in a town called Lewisporte, about 45 kilometers from Gander where they were put up in a high school. If any women wanted to be in a women-only facility, that was arranged.
Families were kept together. All the elderly passengers were taken to private homes. Remember that young pregnant lady? She was put up in a private home right across the street from a 24-hour Urgent Care facility.There was a dentist on call and both male and female nurses remained with the crowd for the duration.
Phone calls and e-mails to the U.S. and around the world were available to everyone once a day. During the day, passengers were offered “Excursion” trips.Some people went on boat cruises of the lakes and harbors. Some went for hikes in the local forests.
Local bakeries stayed open to make fresh bread for the guests.Food was prepared by all the residents and brought to the schools. People were driven to restaurants of their choice and offered wonderful meals. Everyone was given tokens for local laundry mats to wash their clothes, since luggage was still on the aircraft.
In other words, every single need was met for those stranded travelers. Passengers were crying while telling us these stories. Finally, when they were told that U.S. airports had reopened, they were delivered to the airport right on time and without a single passenger missing or late. The local Red Cross had all the information about thewhereabouts of each and every passenger and knew
which plane they needed to be on and when all the planes were leaving. They coordinated everything beautifully.
It was absolutely incredible.
When passengers came on board, it was like they had been on a cruise. Everyone knew each other by name. They were swapping stories of their stay, impressing each other with who had the better time. Our flight back to Atlanta looked like a chartered party flight. The crew just stayed out of their way. It was mind-boggling.
Passengers had totally bonded and were calling each other by their first names, exchanging phone numbers, addresses, and email addresses.
And then a very unusual thing happened.
One of our passengers approached me and asked if he could make an announcement over the PA system. We never, ever allow that. But this time was different. I said “of course” and handed him the mike. He picked up the PA and reminded everyone about what they had just gone through in the last few days.He reminded them of the hospitality they had received at the hands of total strangers.He continued by saying that he would like to do something in return for the good folks of Lewisporte.
“He said he was going to set up a Trust Fund under the name of DELTA 15 (our flight number). The purpose of the trust fund is to provide college scholarships for the high school students of Lewisporte. He asked for donations of any amount from his fellow travelers. When the paper with donations got back to us with the amounts, names, phone numbers and addresses, the total was for more than $14,000!
“The gentleman, a MD from Virginia , promised to match the donations and to start the administrative work on the scholarship. He also said that he would forward this proposal to Delta Corporate and ask them to donate as well.As I write this account, the trust fund is at more than $1.5 million and has assisted 134 students in college education.
“I just wanted to share this story because we need good stories right now. It gives me a little bit of hope to know that some people in a faraway place were kind to some strangers who literally dropped in on them.
It reminds me how much good there is in the world.”
“In spite of all the rotten things we see going on in today’s world this story confirms that there are still a lot of good people in the world and when things get bad, they will come forward.
This is one of those stories that need to be shared.
Courtesy:(Osmania Campus MBA Alumni Association Newsletter)
FEBRUARY 6, 2015
Great Life Advice from Mark Twain
(Mark Twain is considered by many to be one of the greatest American authors in history. He wasn’t only a writer though, he was also a source of constant inspiration, a fountain of memorable quotes and a man with an incredible intellect. So when we say we have some words of advice for you from the mouth of Mark Twain, there is a very good reason to listen!)
1. Age is in your mind more than anywhere else.
“Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”
With this clever play on words, Twain is telling us age doesn’t matter as long as you don’t give it significance. It means that a young soul can dwell in an old body and all the limitations we put on age, other than those physical ones, are actually in our head.
This advice isn’t just about age, it’s also about self-confidence. When we believe we have a problem, we transmit that to the people around us and so bring it to pass. People can feel the lack of self-confidence in others and they will treat you as you treat yourself. So, once you make that mental ‘switch’, the enviornment will too.
2. Humor is one of the most important things.
“Humor is mankind’s greatest blessing.”
“Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand.”
The simple act of laughing and responding to humor is one of the greatest experiences of the human condition. Life is nothing without laughter, just a sad shell, and although there are pleasures in life that have nothing to do with humor, they are always improved upon and made more palatable with a good side dish of laughter. Humor helps almost all situations and using it will draw people to you faster than anything else you may do.
3.Anger will hurt you more than help you.
“Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.”
Anger is an inescapable human emotion; we all get mad once in a while. But there are ways to control out anger, and not let it control us. Just like laughter is transient in nature, so should anger be. A joke will make you laugh again and again if you think about it over and over, and anger is no exception, the more you think about it, the angrier you’ll become. So, when you are angry at something or someone, it’s important you let it die out naturally; don’t continue to feed it. Think of other things and apply your cognitive resources at things that make you happy.
4. The world doesn’t owe you, you owe yourselves.
“Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.”
The feeling of being owned something by the world is common in this generation. We all feel entitled to something, whether it’s a steady job, money, happiness etc. But these feelings usually lead only to frustration, bitterness, anger and resentment. Let go of these expectations from yourselves and from the world, and you’ll see that everything becomes a bit easier. You do deserve the best, but you’ll need to go and get it for yourselves.
5. Having a new idea is not a crime.
“A person with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds.”
When you see things differently than other people, expect mixed reactions. Some will support you, others ignore you, while still others will try to bring you down. Most people tend to hold on to their preconceived notions for dear life, and will even act aggressively or negatively when these are threatened by an opposing opinion. But remember, all great discoveries were once such novel ideas, and many of them carried negative reactions. You should say what you believe and act upon it, don’t let anyone tell you your ideas are ‘too weird’. After all, human flight used to be such a novel and strange idea.
6. Don’t let your thoughts dwell on the negative.
“Drag your thoughts away from your troubles… by the ears, by the heels, or any other way you can manage it.”
You must watch your thoughts, because it is so easy to get into a habit of thinking negatively, hashing our worries and troubles over and over in our head, until they seem as big as mountains and as dark as night. Thinking positively is one of the best gifts you can give yourselves, and will ultimately lead to you doing everything a little better, with people reacting much better to your attitude. In the end, life is made up of ‘tasks’ we must accomplish, some small, some big and difficult. Try to look at any ‘difficult’ task as a challenge and as an opportunity to learn something about yourselves.
7. Instead of worrying about yourself, worry about others and help yourself.
“The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.”
There is something magical about making someone else smile or getting them out of a tough situation. Helping others not only makes us better people and buys us goodwill from those around us, it also makes our own problems seem smaller because we’re not preoccupied with them 24/7. If you help others without thinking, just jumping in and helping out, you’ll be the one ending up with a smile on your face.
8. Try everything, regret nothing.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did so. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
A beautiful quote my Mark Twain and one that is full of truth. It’s always easier to delay things we want to do. After all, life usually gets in the way and we tell ourselves ‘well, we’ll try it later’. But as we get older, those opportunities become more and more rare, and the things we end up regretting the most are the things we simply never tried to do.
Failure shouldn’t scare us, it’s a part of life. What is scarier is having opportunities and never acting on them. So when you think you want to do something – do it. Failure may happen, but at least you’ll know the answer to the question: “What if?”
Courtesy:Osmania Campus MBA Alumni Association Newsletter
JULY 25, 2014
Indian Customs Vs Scientific Reasons
Traditions in Hinduism were considered, by some, as superstitions, but with the advent of science, it is becoming evident that these traditions are based on some scientific knowledge and moved from generations to generations as traditions. Though the common people did not know science in it, they were following it very faithfully over the years.
The following is an attempt to bring forward the science involved in these Hindu traditions and rituals.
Throwing coins into a river
The general reasoning given for this act is that it brings Good Luck. However, scientifically speaking, in the ancient times, most of the currency used was made of copper unlike the stainless steel coins of today. Copper is a vital metal very useful to the human body. Throwing coins in the river was one way our fore-fathers ensured we intake sufficient copper as part of the water as rivers were the only source of drinking water. Making it a custom ensured that all of us follow the practice.
Joining both palms together to greet
In Hindu culture, people greet each other by joining their palms – termed as “Namaskar.” The general reason behind this tradition is that greeting by joining both the palms means respect. However, scientifically speaking, joining both hands ensures joining the tips of all the fingers together; which are denoted to the pressure points of eyes, ears, and mind. Pressing them together is said to activate the pressure points which helps us remember that person for a long time. And, no germs since we don’t make any physical contact!
Why do Indian women wear toe ring?
Wearing toe rings is not just the significance of married women but there is science behind it. Normally toe rings are worn on the second toe. A particular nerve from the second toe connects the uterus and passes to heart. Wearing toe ring on this finger strengthens the uterus. It will keep it healthy by regulating the blood flow to it and menstrual cycle will be regularized. As Silver is a good conductor, it also absorbs polar energies from the earth and passes it to the body.
Applying Tilak on the forehead
On the forehead, between the two eyebrows, is a spot that is considered as a major nerve point in human body since ancient times. The Tilak is believed to prevent the loss of “energy”, the red ‘kumkum’ between the eyebrows is said to retain energy in the human body and control the various levels of concentration. While applying kumkum the points on the mid-brow region and Adnya-chakra are automatically pressed. This also facilitates the blood supply to the face muscles.
Why do temples have bells?
People who are visiting the temple should and will Ring the bell before entering the inner sanctum (Garbhagudi or Garbha Gruha or womb-chamber) where the main idol is placed. According to Agama Sastra, the bell is used to give sound for keeping evil forces away and the ring of the bell is pleasant to God. However, the scientific reason behind bells is that their ring clears our mind and helps us stay sharp and keep our full concentration on devotional purpose. These bells are made in such a way that when they produce a sound it creates a unity in the Left and Right parts of our brains. The moment we ring the bell, it produces a sharp and enduring sound which lasts for minimum of 7 seconds in echo mode. The duration of echo is good enough to activate all the seven healing centres in our body. This results in emptying our brain from all negative thoughts.
Why do we have Navratris?
Our living style has drastically changed if we compare it to the society hundreds & thousands of years ago. The traditions which we follow in present are not establishments of today but of the past. Ever thought, why do we have Navratras twice a year unlike other festivals like Deepawali or Holi? Well, both these months are the months of changing seasons and the eating habits of both the seasons are quite different from each other. Navratras give enough time to the body to adjust and prepare itself for to the changing season. These nine days were marked as a period when people would clean their body system by keeping fasts by avoiding excessive salt and sugar, meditate, gain a lot of positive energy, gain a lot of self confidence & increase the self determination power (fasts are a medium to improve our will power and self determination) and finally get ready for the challenges of the changed season.
Why do we worship Tulsi plant?
Hindu religion has bestowed ‘Tulsi’, with the status of mother. Also known as ‘Sacred or Holy Basil’, Tulsi, has been recognized as a religious and spiritual devout in many parts of the world. The vedic sages knew the benefits of Tulsi and that is why they personified it as a Goddess and gave a clear message to the entire community that it needs to be taken care of by the people, literate or illiterate. We try to protect it because it is like Sanjeevani for the mankind. Tulsi has great medicinal properties. It is a remarkable antibiotic. Taking Tulsi everyday in tea or otherwise increases immunity and help the drinker prevent diseases, stabilize his or her health condition, balance his or her body system and most important of all, prolong his or her life. Keeping Tulsi plant at home prevents insects and mosquitoes from entering the house. It is said that snakes do not dare to go near a Tulsi plant. Maybe that is why ancient people would grow lots of Tulsi near their houses.
Why do we worship Peepal tree?
‘Peepal’ tree is almost useless for an ordinary person, except for its shadow. ‘Peepal’ does not a have a delicious fruit, its wood is not strong enough for any purpose then why should a common villager or person worship it or even care for it? Our ancestors knew that ‘Peepal’ is one of the very few trees (or probably the only tree) which produces oxygen even at night. So in order to save this tree because of its unique property they related it to God/religion.
Start with spice and at end with sweet
Our ancestors have stressed on the fact that our meals should be started off with something spicy and sweet dishes should be taken towards the end. The significance of this eating practice is that while spicy things activate the digestive juices and acids and ensure that the digestion process goes on smoothly and efficiently, sweets or carbohydrates pulls down the digestive process. Hence, sweets were always recommended to be taken as a last item.
Choti on the male head
Sushrut rishi, the foremost surgeon of Ayurveda, describes the master sensitive spot on the head as Adhipati Marma, where there is a nexus of all nerves. The shikha protects this spot. Below, in the brain, occurs the Brahmarandhra, where the sushumnã (nerve) arrives from the lower part of the body. In Yog, Brahmarandhra is the highest, seventh chakra, with the thousand-petalled lotus. It is the centre of wisdom. The knotted shikhã helps boost this centre and conserve its subtle energy known as ojas.
Applying Mehendi/Henna on the hand
Besides lending color to the hands, mehndi is a very powerful medicinal herb. Weddings are stressful, and often, the stress causes headaches and fevers. As the wedding day approaches, the excitement mixed with nervous anticipation can take its toll on the bride and groom. Application of mehndi can prevent too much stress because it cools the body and keeps the nerves from becoming tense. This is the reason why mehndi is applied on the hands and feet, which house nerve endings in the body.
Celebration and cleaning during Diwali
Diwali usually falls in October or November which marks the start of winter season and end of rainy season. Rainy season wasn’t a good time for everyone back then; many homes needed repair and renovation after a heavy fall. That is why time before diwali was considered the period during which everyone can indulge in cleaning and beautification of their home. And also take out their winter clothes and pack the summer ones.
Sitting on the floor and eating
This tradition is not just about sitting on floor and eating, it is regarding sitting in the “Sukhasan” position and then eating. Sukhasan is the position we normally use for Yoga asanas. Sitting in this position while eating helps in improving digestion as the circulatory system can focus solely upon digestion and not on our legs dangling from a chair or supporting us while we are standing.
Why not to sleep with your head towards north?
Myth is that it invites ghost or death but science says that it is because human body has its own magnetic field (Also known as hearts magnetic field, because the flow of blood) and Earth is a giant magnet. When we sleep with head towards north, our body’s magnetic field become completely asymmetrical to the Earth’s Magnetic field. That cause problems related to blood pressure and our heart needs to work harder in order to overcome this asymmetry of Magnetic fields. Apart from this another reason is that Our body have significant amount of iron in our blood. When we sleep in this position, iron from the whole body starts to congregate in brain. This can cause headache, Alzheimer’s Disease, Cognitive Decline, Parkinson disease and brain degeneration.
Hindus have a tradition of paying regards to Sun God early in the morning by their water offering ritual. It was mainly because looking at Sun rays through water or directly at that time of the day is good for eyes and also by waking up to follow this routine, we become prone to a morning lifestyle and mornings are proven to be the most effective part of the day.
Ear piercing (ear-boring) in children
Piercing the ears has a great importance in Indian ethos. Indian physicians and philosophers believe that piercing the ears helps in the development of intellect, power of thinking and decision making faculties. Talkativeness fritters away life energy. Ear piercing helps in speech-restraint. It helps to reduce impertinent behaviour and the ear-channels become free from disorders. This idea appeals to the Western world as well, and so they are getting their ears pierced to wear fancy earrings as a mark of fashion.
Application of Sindoor or Vermillion
It is interesting to note that that the application of sindoor by married women carries a physiological significance. This is so because Sindoor is prepared by mixing turmeric-lime and the metal mercury. Due to its intrinsic properties, mercury, besides controlling blood pressure also activates sexual drive. This also explains why Sindoor is prohibited for the widows. For best results, Sindoor should be applied right upto the pituitary gland where all our feelings are centered. Mercury is also known for removing stress and strain.
The scientific explanation of touching feet (charan sparsh)
Usually, the person of whose feet you are touching is either old or pious. When they accept your respect which came from your reduced ego (and is called your shraddha) their hearts emit positive thoughts and energy (which is called their karuna) which reaches you through their hands and toes. In essence, the completed circuit enables flow of energy and increases cosmic energy, switching on a quick connect between two minds and hearts. To an extent, the same is achieved through handshakes and hugs. The nerves that start from our brain spread across all your body. These nerves or wires end in the fingertips of your hand and feet. When you join the fingertips of your hand to those of their opposite feet, a circuit is immediately formed and the energies of two bodies are connected. Your fingers and palms become the ‘receptor’ of energy and the feet of other person become the ‘giver’ of energy.
Why do we fast?
The underlying principle behind fasting is to be found in Ayurveda. This ancient Indian medical system sees the basic cause of many diseases as the accumulation of toxic materials in the digestive system. Regular cleansing of toxic materials keeps one healthy. By fasting, the digestive organs get rest and all body mechanisms are cleansed and corrected. A complete fast is good for heath, and the occasional intake of warm lemon juice during the period of fasting prevents the flatulence. Since the human body, as explained by Ayurveda, is composed of 80% liquid and 20% solid, like the earth, the gravitational force of the moon affects the fluid contents of the body. It causes emotional imbalances in the body, making some people tense, irritable and violent. Fasting acts as antidote, for it lowers the acid content in the body which helps people to retain their sanity. Research suggests there are major health benefits to caloric restriction like reduced risks of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, immune disorders etc.
Why idol worship?
Hinduism propagates idol worship more than any other religion. Researchers say that this was initiated for the purpose of increasing concentration during prayers. According to psychiatrists, a man will shape his thoughts as per what he sees. If you have 3 different objects in front of you, your thinking will change according to the object you are viewing. Similarly, in ancient India, idol worship was established so that when people view idols it is easy for them to concentrate to gain spiritual energy and meditate without mental diversion.
Why do Indian women wear bangles?
Normally the wrist portion is in constant activation on any human. Also the pulse beat in this portion is mostly checked for all sorts of ailments. The Bangles used by women are normally in the wrist part of ones hand and its constant friction increases the blood circulation level. Furthermore the electricity passing out through outer skin is again reverted to one’s own body because of the ring shaped bangles, which has no ends to pass the energy outside but to send it back to the body.
Courtesy: Dr A JM Reddy (via Osmania Campus MBA Alumni Association Newsletter)
8 things to remember, when everything goes wrong!
“The best way out is always through.”― Robert Frost
Truth be told, happiness is not the absence of problems, but the ability to deal with them. Imagine all the wondrous things your mind might embrace if it weren’t wrapped so tightly around your struggles. Always look at what you have, instead of what you have lost. Because it’s not what the world takes away from you that counts; it’s what you do with what you have left.Here are a few reminders to help motivate you when you need it most:
1. Pain is part of growing
Sometimes life closes doors because it’s time to move forward. And that’s a good thing because we often won’t move unless circumstances force us to. When times are tough, remind yourself that no pain comes without a purpose. Move on from what hurt you, but never forget what it taught you. Just because you’re struggling doesn’t mean you’re failing. Every great success requires some type of worthy struggle to get there. Good things take time. Stay patient and stay positive. Everything is going to come together; maybe not immediately, but eventually.Remember that there are two kinds of pain: pain that hurts and pain that changes you. When you roll with life, instead of resisting it, both kinds help you grow.
2. Everything in life is temporary
Every time it rains, it stops raining. Every time you get hurt, you heal. After darkness there is always light – you are reminded of this every morning, but still you often forget, and instead choose to believe that the night will last forever. It won’t. Nothing lasts forever.
So if things are good right now, enjoy it. It won’t last forever. If things are bad, don’t worry because it won’t last forever either. Just because life isn’t easy at the moment, doesn’t mean you can’t laugh. Just because something is bothering you, doesn’t mean you can’t smile. Every moment gives you a new beginning and a new ending. You get a second chance, every second. You just have to take it and make the best of it.
3. Worrying and complaining changes nothing
Those who complain the most, accomplish the least. It’s always better to attempt to do something great and fail than to attempt to do nothing and succeed. It’s not over if you’ve lost; it’s over when you do nothing but complain about it. If you believe in something, keep trying. Don’t let the shadows of the past darken the doorstep of your future. Spending today complaining about yesterday won’t make tomorrow any brighter. Take action instead. Let what you’ve learned improve how you live. Make a change and never look back.
And regardless of what happens in the long run, remember that true happiness begins to arrive only when you stop complaining about your problems and you start being grateful for all the problems you don’t have.
4. Your scars are symbols of your strength
Don’t ever be ashamed of the scars life has left you with. A scar means the hurt is over and the wound is closed. It means you conquered the pain, learned a lesson, grew stronger, and moved forward. A scar is the tattoo of a triumph to be proud of. Don’t allow your scars to hold you hostage. Don’t allow them to make you live your life in fear. You can’t make the scars in your life disappear, but you can change the way you see them. You can start seeing your scars as a sign of strength and not pain.
As somebody rightly said, “The wound is the place where the Light enters you.” Nothing could be closer to the truth. Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most powerful characters in this great world are seared with scars. See your scars as a sign of “YES! I MADE IT! I survived and I have my scars to prove it! And now I have a chance to grow even stronger.”
5. Every little struggle is a step forward
In life, patience is not about waiting; it’s the ability to keep a good attitude while working hard on your dreams, knowing that the work is worth it. So if you’re going to try, put in the time and go all the way. Otherwise, there’s no point in starting. This could mean losing stability and comfort for a while, and maybe even your mind on occasion. It could mean not eating what, or sleeping where, you’re used to, for weeks on end. It could mean stretching your comfort zone so thin it gives you a nonstop case of the chills. It could mean sacrificing relationships and all that’s familiar. It could mean accepting ridicule from your peers. It could mean lots of time alone in solitude. Solitude, though, is the gift that makes great things possible. It gives you the space you need. Everything else is a test of your determination, of how much you really want it.
And if you want it, you’ll do it, despite failure and rejection and the odds. And every step will feel better than anything else you can imagine. You will realize that the struggle is not found on the path, it is the path. And it’s worth it. So if you’re going to try, go all the way. There’s no better feeling in the world… there’s no better feeling than knowing what it means to be ALIVE.
6. Other people’s negativity is not your problem
Be positive when negativity surrounds you. Smile when others try to bring you down. It’s an easy way to maintain your enthusiasm and focus. When other people treat you poorly, keep being you. Don’t ever let someone else’s bitterness change the person you are. You can’t take things too personally, even if it seems personal. Rarely do people do things because of you. They do things because of them.
Above all, don’t ever change just to impress someone who says you’re not good enough. Change because it makes you a better person and leads you to a brighter future. People are going to talk regardless of what you do or how well you do it. So worry about yourself before you worry about what others think. If you believe strongly in something, don’t be afraid to fight for it. Great strength comes from overcoming what others think is impossible.
All jokes aside, your life only comes around once. This is IT. So do what makes you happy and be with whoever makes you smile, often.
7. What’s meant to be will eventually, BE
True strength comes when you have so much to cry and complain about, but you prefer to smile and appreciate your life instead. There are blessings hidden in every struggle you face, but you have to be willing to open your heart and mind to see them. You can’t force things to happen. You can only drive yourself crazy trying. At some point you have to let go and let what’s meant to be, BE.
In the end, loving your life is about trusting your intuition, taking chances, losing and finding happiness, cherishing the memories, and learning through experience. It’s a long-term journey. You have to stop worrying, wondering, and doubting every step of the way. Laugh at the confusion, live consciously in the moment, and enjoy your life as it unfolds. You might not end up exactly where you intended to go, but you will eventually arrive precisely where you need to be.
8. The best thing you can do is to keep going
Don’t be afraid to get back up. Don’t be afraid to love again. Don’t let the cracks in your heart turn to hardened scar tissue. Find the strength to laugh every day. Find the courage to feel different, yet beautiful. Find it in your heart to make others smile too. Remember that you don’t need many people in your life, just a few great ones, so don’t lower yourself to have more ‘friends.’ Be strong when things get tough. Remember that the universe is always doing what’s right. Recognize when you’re wrong and learn from it. Don’t hold on too tightly. Always look back and see how much you’ve grown, and be proud of yourself. Don’t change for anyone, unless you want to. Give more. Give the things you love so others can love them too. Write stories. Take photos. Remember the little moments and the way your loved ones look at you.
Just keep being YOU. Keep growing. Keep going.
Courtesy : Dr A Jagan Mohan Reddy (through newsletter from Osmania Campus MBA Alumni Association)
DECEMBER 9, 2013
How to train your brain to see what others don’t!
Charles Darwin had one of the greatest “aha!” moments in all of history when writing his magnum opus On The Origin of Species. After reading a book written 40 years earlier on population growth and resource competition, Darwin immediately saw the connection to the variation among species that he had observed in the Galapagos — and voila, the theory of natural selection was born.
“Darwin reads this book and says, ‘Wow, that’s it!’ That exemplifies the ‘aha!’ of getting the new piece of information, and seeing the implication and seeing how it fits,” cognitive psychologist Gary Klein, author of Seeing What Others Don’t: The Remarkable Ways We Gain Insights,
tells The Huffington Post. “That was an unexpected shift in his understanding.”
Here are five things you should know about insight — and ways to bring more “aha!” moments into your life.
1. Be curious.
Being curious is the best way to become more insightful, says Klein, and a lack of insight often comes from being in a passive and disinterested state of mind.
“Curiosity is another engine of insight,” says Klein. “People who get insights see something that’s a little bit off, and instead of ignoring it, they’re curious about it. Curiosity keeps our mind engaged to work out the implications.”
2. Let your mind wander.
A 2012 psychological study found that daydreaming — passive though it may seem — actually involves a very active brain state, which is why the wandering mind can sometimes stumble upon brilliant insights and sudden connections. The researchers credit this phenomenon to the fact that daydreaming correlates with our ability to recall information in the face of distractions. Recent neuroscienceresearch has also found that daydreaming involves the same brain processes involved in imagination and creativity.
“I worry about people who spend all their empty time when they’re not in conversations listening to music or podcasts or things like that, and not leaving any space to just daydream,” says Klein.
3. Pay attention to coincidences.
“Be more alert to anomalies,” Klein says, “rather than quickly explaining them away and staying in your comfort zone.”
We tend to ignore coincidences or not think much of them, because they’re often meaningless, says Klein. But looking for coincidences is a powerful way to make surprising connections.
“There’s a belief that correlation doesn’t imply causality, which is true. People see all sorts of correlations in coincides that turn out to be spurious, so they get a bad reputation,” Klein says. “But in my work I find that a lot of insights are fed by people spotting coincidences and making assumptions, and instead of just saying ‘It must be true,’ doing to follow-up work to find out if it’s true.”
4. Look closely at contradictions.
Insights can occur when we encounter ideas that don’t make sense to us.
Questioning contradictions is another path to epiphanies. Whereas curiosity makes us wonder, contradiction causes us to doubt — and it can be another powerful way to gain insights.
“Our tendency when we hit a contradiction that involves things we believe we understand well is to say, ‘Well, that must an anomaly.’ We have a marvelous set of techniques for explaining away inconvenient facts,” says Klein. “The contradiction only leads to an insight when people take it seriously enough to explore it a bit.”
5. Act on your insights.
Day dreaming isn’t the only state of mind that can lead to insights.
“I’ve found a number of examples where people were under tremendous pressure and came up with marvelous insights,” says Klein. “We should embrace urgency.”
This urgency forces people to look at things they’d otherwise ignore (what Klein refers to as “creative desperation”), and when they gain an insight, encourages them to act on it right away. This is frequently how chess grand masters try an unusual move that ends up being successful and winning the game for them.
“The problem with too many organizations is that they don’t feel any pressure to act on the insights they’ve had,” says Klein. “They act like they have all the time in the world and then they end up going out of business.”
Courtesy: A Weekly Bulletin of Ocambaaa (Osmania Campus MBA Alumni Association)
NOVEMBER 14, 2013
An Excellent Solution for Corruption and Black Money
“Arthakranti Proposal” has been given by a Pune (Maharashtra) based “Arthakranti Sansthan” which is an Economic Advisory body constituted by a group of Chartered Accountants and Engineers. This funda has been patented by the Sansthan.
What is “Arthakranti Proposal” and who has given the proposal?
Arthakranti Proposal is an effective and guaranteed solution of ‘Black Money Generation’, Price rise and Inflation, Corruption, Fiscal Deficit, Unemployment, Ransom, GDP & industrial growth, terrorism and good governance.
What is in the Proposal?
“Arthakranti Proposal has 5 point of actions simultaneously
(1) Scrap all 56 Taxes including income tax excluding import duty.
(2) Recall and scrap high denomination currencies of 1000, 500 and 100 rupees.
(3) All high value transaction to be made through banking system like cheque, DD, online, electronic.
(4) Fix Limit of cash transaction and no taxing on cash transaction.
(5) For Govt. revenue collection introduce single point tax system through banking system –“Banking Transaction Tax (2% to 0.7%) on only Credit Amount.
Important Points to note:
(1) As on today total banking transaction is more than 2.7Lakh Crores per day say more than 800 Lakh Crores Annually.
(2) Less than 20% transaction is made through banking system as on today and more than 80% transaction made in cash only, which is not traceable.
(3) 78% of Indian Population spend less than 20/- rupees daily why they need 1000/- rupee note.
What will happen if All 56 taxes including income tax scrapped:
(1) Salaried people will bring home more money which will increase purchasing power of the family.
(2) All commodities including Petrol, Diesel, FMCG will become cheaper by 35% to 52%.
(3) No question of Tax evading so no black money generation.
(4) Business sector will get boosted-so self employment.
What will happen if 1000/ 500/ 100 Rupees currency notes recalled and scrapped?
(1) Corruption through cash will stopped 100%.
(2) Black Money will either converted to white or will vanished as Billions of 1000/500/100 currency notes hided in bags without use will become simple peace of papers.
(3) Unaccounted hidden huge cash is skyrocketing the prices of properties, land, houses, jewellery, etc., and hard earn money is loosing its value; this trend will get stopped immediately.
(4) Kidnapping and ransom, “Supari Killing” will stopped,
(5) Terrorism supported by cash transaction will be stopped.
(6) Cannot buy high value property in cash showing very less registry prices.
(7) Circulation of “Fake Currency” will stopped because fake currency printing for less value notes will not be viable.
What will happen when Banking Transaction Tax (2% to 0.7%) is implemented?
(1) As on today if BTT is implemented Govt. can fetch 800×2%=16Lakh Crore where as current taxing system is generating less than 14Lakh Crore revenue.
(2) When 50% of total transaction will be covered by BTT sizing 2000 to 2500 lakh Crores, Govt. will need to Fix BTT as low as 1% to 0.7% and this will boost again banking transaction many fold.
(3) No separate machinery like income tax department is needed and tax amount will directly deposited in State/Central/District administration account same moment.
(4) As transaction tax amount will be very less, public will prefer it instead paying huge amount against directly/indirectly 56 taxes.
(5) There will be no tax evasion and Govt. will get huge revenue for development and employment generation. (6) For any special revenue for special projects, Govt. can slightly raise BTT say from 1% to 1.2% and this 0.2% increase will generate 4, 00, 000 crores additional fund.
Effect of “Arthakranti Proposal” if implemented today:
(1) Prices of all things will come down
(2) Salaried people will get more cash in hand
(3) Purchasing power of Society will increased
(4) Demand will boosted, so is production and industrialization and ultimately more employment opportunity for youth
(5) Surplus revenue to the Govt. for effective health/ education/ infrastructure/ security/ social works.
(6) Cheaper and easy loans from banks, interest rate will come down.
(7) Tendency of society will changes from scarcity to quality.
(8) Spare money for political system for clean politics,
(9) Prices of Land/ property will come down,
(10) No need to export beef to cover up trade deficit
(11) Sufficient fund for research and development.
(12) Society will be free from “Bad elements”.
OCTOBER 14, 2013
Universal Skills You Need to Succeed at Anything!
There are a lot of skills you don’t need. You can be happy and successful without knowing how to rebuild a car’s engine, program a web application, or replace drywall. Sure, these are useful skills to have, but they aren’t absolutely necessary.
There are other skills, however, that can’t be avoided – skills that tie into various aspects of everyday life, that are not only useful, but totally indispensable. For instance, you can’t get far in today’s world without being able to read or write. And today the ability use a computer proficiently is simply assumed.
In this article we’re going to skip the super basic skills like reading, driving, and using a computer, and discuss twelve slightly more advanced skills that are woefully under-taught, and universally applicable. Let’s take a look…
1. Prioritizing and time management – If success depends on effective action, effective action depends on the ability to focus your attention where it is needed most, when it is needed most. This is the ability to separate the important from the unimportant, which is a much needed skill in all walks of life, especially where there are ever increasing opportunities and distractions.
2. Keeping a clean, organized space – Successful people have systems in place to help them find what they need when they need it – they can quickly locate the information required to support their activities. When you’re disorganized, that extra time spent looking for a phone number, email address or a certain file forces you to drop your focus. Once it’s gone, it takes a while to get it back – and that’s where the real time is wasted. Keeping both your living and working spaces organized is crucial.
3. Critical thinking and information analysis – We are living in the information age where, on a daily basis, we are constantly exposed to an ever growing and rapidly changing pool of information. Being able to evaluate this information, sort the valuable from the trivial, analyze its relevance and meaning, and relate it to other information is a priceless skill with universal applicability.
4. Logical, informed decision making – Decision making is simply knowing what to do based on the information available. Being able to respond quickly and effectively with the information you have in your head is essential to accomplishing anything.
5. Using Google proficiently for online research – You don’t have to know everything, but you should be able to quickly and painlessly find out what you need to know. Google is a gateway to nearly infinite knowledge; it has indexed websites containing information on just about everything and everyone. If you’re having trouble finding something using Google, it’s time to learn a few new tricks.
6. Basic accounting and money management – It’s a simple fact that our modern society is governed by the constant exchange of money. Money allows you to maintain a roof over your head and put food on the table each night. Knowing how to properly manage your money – tracking and recording your expenses and income, saving and investing – is not only an important skill for thriving, it’s an important skill that helps you survive.
7. Effective communication and negotiating – Give the people in your life the information they need rather than expecting them to know the unknowable. Don’t try to read other people’s minds, and don’t make other people try to read yours. Most problems, big and small, within a family, friendship, or business relationship, start with bad communication. Speak honestly, and then give others a voice and show them that their words matter. And remember that compromise and effective negotiating are vital parts of effective communication.
8. Relaxation – Stress leads to poor health, poor decision-making, poor thinking, and poor socialization. So be attentive to your stress level and take short breaks when you need to. Slow down. Breathe. Give yourself permission to pause, regroup and move forward with clarity and purpose. When you’re at your busiest, a brief recess can rejuvenate your mind and increase your productivity. These short breaks will help you regain your sanity, and allow you to reflect on your recent actions so you can be sure they’re in line with your goals.
9. Proficient writing and note-taking – The written word isn’t going away; it is used in every walk of life. Learning to write proficiently so that others can understand you is critical. Also, using your writing skills to take useful notes is one of the most productive things you can do, regardless of the task at hand. Writing things down – taking notes – helps us remember what we hear, see, or read when we’re learning something new, or trying to remember something specific.
10. Relationship networking – In a world dominated by constant innovation and information exchange, relationship networking creates the channel through which ideas and information flow, and in which new ideas are shared, discussed and perfected. A large relationship network, carefully cultivated, can be leveraged to meet the right people, find jobs, build businesses, learn about new trends, spread ideas, etc.
11. Positivity – Research shows that although we think that we act because of the way we feel, in fact, we often feel because of the way we act. A great attitude always leads to great experiences. People who think optimistically see the world as a place packed with endless opportunities, especially in trying times. Be positive, smile, and make it count. Pretend today is going to be great. Do so, and it will be.
12. Self-discipline – Self-discipline is a skill. It is the ability to focus and overcome distractions. It involves acting according to what you think instead of how you feel in the moment. It often requires sacrificing the pleasure and thrill for what matters most in life. Therefore it is self-discipline that drives you to succeed in the long-term.
Courtesy: Dr. mdahsan (with thanks, republished here from the weekly bulletin of ‘Ocambaaa’ – Osmania Campus MBA Alumni Association)
SEPTEMBER 25, 2013
Why should a GOD be so INSECURE?
Without malice to Christians, Muslims, Jews and similar ones. It may be little lengthy, But do read till the end.
I met a Swedish national in Berlin while I was taking rest in the Press Centre during IFA 2007 trade show. He said he is a part-time technology journalist and part-time pastor. He did his higher studies in UK.
“So…you are from India…are you a Hindi?” he asked, while having coffee with me.
“Hindi is our national language. You mean to ask am I a Hindu?”
“Yes – I mean religion…”
“Yes. I am a Hindu by birth”
“Do you have Christianity there?”
“Yes, of course. Christianity came to India, centuries before it reached you in Europe” I said.
“Oh, really? Still you are a Hindu?” he asked again.
“Yes – why?” I was curious.
“Don’t tell me you worship monkeys and rats…” he said with a smile.
“As a matter of fact, yes, we do”
“You can’t be serious. You look like an educated person…”
“I am very serious and I worship monkey-god and an elephant-god…what’s that to do with education?” I said.
“You must be joking….People were worshipping animals and trees during pre-historic times…but todays educated people, no way!”
“In fact, we have a pantheon of many gods and we can worship god in any forms…”
“Hey, come on….there is only one GOD” he said.
“Really? I am not sure about it…”
“There is only one GOD…a singular GOD…”
“Better say, you have the concept of a single god…that’s your belief…”
“Concept? Belief…I am telling you the truth…”
“Who said so…?”
“All religious scriptures and sacred books say so… Christianity and Judaism say there is only one God. Islam also says so…”
“Those are great religions…what they say must be true. I don’t know about it… I am not a scholar in Semitic religions or in Hinduism. So let’s don’t talk about the Holy books and religions…I am not capable to discuss it….But about GOD, I have a question.”
“Yes – of course…”
“Ok… you shouldn’t feel angry…I didn’t feel angry when you ridiculed my gods…My question is based on your opinion of single god concept…” I reminded him.
“You say that there is only one god – single god, right?
“Your single God claims that he is the only God, who demands you to should worship him failing which he would roast you in hell fire…”
“It is not fully correct…but continue…I am listening…”
“That means. You are following Monotheism – that is the belief in a single god. Monotheism insists that only a single God exists. Other gods are “false” or even demonic…”
“Yes- you can say that…”
“For me, it is difficult to accept…”
“If a God says: “You will worship none but me, that you will associate none with me, and that none of you shall set up mortals as deities besides me. If you commit the foulest sin by worshiping any other Gods (other than me) or associating partner with me, I shall throw you in hell fire as a punishment for this sin.” – That’s what, in a nutshell, your GOD says right?”
“What’s wrong in saying that? You need to have faith in Him”
“Friend, isn’t this self-contradictory and dangerous?”
“First, explain to me about the contradictions…Had there been really only one God, it would not have been possible for man to find another God to worship, right?”
“Had the God been confident that there is no other God except him, he should not have been jealous of another God, right?”
“Yes – but who is jealous here?”
“Think…If the GOD knew that there is no other God, he would have been confident that people will not find any another God to worship, right?”
“These are all mis-interpretations….that’s not just right…” his voice became bit feeble.
“Think without biased, without conditionings…think with clarity….”
– The behavioral pattern of any single GOD in such concepts suggests that he is not confident that he is the only God. He seems always to be suspicious that there may be other Gods and people may worship those Gods instead of him.
– So the insecure GOD warns man not to worship another God. It, of course, is not a real god’s message. Can’t you clearly see the insecurity and whims and fancy of a narrow-minded human being behind this message?
– Can any GOD be always feel threatened that a member of his followers’ gang may slip out of his grip and start to worship another God (probably the real creator of the universe)? So he had to enforce strict law that if any one of his gang tries to desert Him, he should immediately be put to death for apostasy.
– How can any GOD be so insecure? The single insecure god theory converts the basic instinct to insecurity right from the childhood. The follower’s behavior may be fostered by GOD’s violent teachings for establishing Himself as the sole proprietary God of the world.
– And one more thing – you say, your singular god does everything. If there is only one powerful god who controls everything, doesn’t that also mean he creates bad things and causes bad things to happen?
“Do these reflections make any sense? Should I believe such a story or such a GOD?”
“You are talking non-sense, ridiculous…” his face turned red.
“Sir, I told you – why do you feel angry and insecure when I talk about your concept of god? We are having a dialogue here…”
“Shouldn’t I defend my beliefs?” he asked angrily.
“Now you are saying those are just your beliefs…”
“You may. But why should a human try to protect GOD? Why should you feel so insecure if somebody criticizes your concept of God? Isn’t it insecurity?”
“You won’t feel hurt when somebody criticizes your beliefs? You people worship cows…even dogs…are you not ashamed of it…”
“Do I look hurt? But fanatic followers – even in Hinduism – will get angry and violent. I am not fanatic or fundamentalist…I am a humanist…”
“Ok…ok…so you say defending the GOD shows insecurity?”
“One may feel insecure when somebody questions his beliefs. If somebody questions truth, why should you feel insecure? Its truth after all…Should you defend the existence of sun? Your defending won’t change anything with sun…Don’t you think that fanatic god theory is the very root is insecurity – that is why we see a lot of followers have aggression and blind faith. We can find the seed of the real insecurity when a GOD is not confident that he is the only God in the world (and not in the universe)….”
“Your god doesn’t ask you to fear Him”
“No…Never…There are two things. One -The concept or notion of a personal God, hiding behind the clouds of secrecy, telling us irrational stories through few men whom he sends as divine messengers’ time-to-time, demanding us to worship him or punish us, does not make any sense to me.”
“What’s the second thing?”
“Is God as silly autocratic emperor who wants others to respect him or fear him? Can God stoop to such a low level of narrow-minded like a jealous human being? Or is it those human beings created such God?”
“So you don’t fear GOD…”
“I am afraid, I don’t…”
– The Monotheistic God is jealous and wrathful. There is one God, and one correct method of worship. Those who deviate are heretics and may be punished, tortured or killed. In its exclusive devotion to the worship of one God, monotheism has inspired much ferocity and fanaticism….that’s how fear comes in.
– At the heart of monotheism is the sure conviction that only a single god exists, a tendency to regard one’s own rituals and practices as the only proper way to worship the one true god.
– When one starts with the presumption that one is absolutely and utterly “right” and anyone thinking otherwise is just as completely “wrong”, it does not promote the flexible thinking required to keep pace with the rapidly fluctuating pace of modern civilized society.
-Monotheism “demands” a right/wrong, heaven/hell, black/white worldview.
-On the contrary, Polytheism is an open-ended and easy going approach to religious beliefs and practices, a willingness to entertain the idea that there are many gods and many ways to worship them. Many roads lead to the mountain top. A person may choose any path.
– Polytheism accepts that there can be more than “one true way”. This allows for more rational thinking when discussing things like belief system.
Hence, polytheism is more compatible with a naturalistic view of the universe than monotheism.
“Ok…I understand your view points, though I don’t agree with you… But you didn’t answer my question. What does your gods say about worshipping them and fearing them?”
“Very simple. An Indian saint, Adi Sankara said: “Aakashat patitam toyam, Yadha gachhati saagaram, Sarva deva namaskara: Keshavam prati gachhati!!”
“What- what’s that? Come again?”
“It is in Sanskrit. It means: Just as every rain drop that falls from the sky flows into the Ocean, in the same way every prayer offered to any Deity flows to the divine cosmic power (Kesava).”
– “In short, you may worship or believe in any God. No problem…Even if you don’t worship or don’t believe, still it is no problem….This message from the GOD is so confident, so secure, secular and broad-minded. Because it can only come from the true creator of the universe, if at all there is a creator. And you are not asked to protect this GOD and resort to violence.”
“Ah..That’s why you don’t get angry?”
“Yes – You don’t have to spread the message of this God. You don’t have to defend the God. If somebody says badly about this God, I don’t have to get angry or fight for this God. A true Hindu believes that God protects us; we don’t have to protect God. So a true Hindu cannot get hurt in the name of God or religion….”
“So your religion is against single and personal god”
“Not like that… You can worship personal god or impersonal god…everything is manifestation of the same cosmic divinity…so no problem…you have freedom there too…You don’t have to market this God and convert others into his fold and increase market share. That’s why I remain as Hindu. How can you believe in concepts of any other insecure Gods?”
“OK, you made your point clear. But why do you worship monkeys, cows and elephants?”
“An ancient scripture says: “Isavasyam idam sarvam” (Isopanisad) …Everything animate or inanimate that is within the universe is Divine. This entire manifest Universe is enveloped by the Divine, the cosmic power….Hence you can see God in everything – the monkey, donkey, rat, and elephant or even in protozoa….”
“That means you can worship anything in this universe?”
“Yes – Be it Sun or Moon, Be it Hanuman or Ganapathi – whoever you worship, you are worshipping the cosmic power. My favorite God is Hanuman (Monkey-God). My traditional village God is Narasimha (Lion-God)….”
“Don’t you feel awkward? Shameful?”
“Why should I? I am not ashamed or apologetic to admit it….Nobody forced me to worship or believe in them. I had a choice there. I am in a democratic country. Nobody told me that this God would roast me in the hell, if I don’t worship it. I just love the stories of Hanuman and Narasimha. And I am free to criticize or make fun of those stories….”
“But, the animal gods are not scientific… So ancient tribes considered everything as GOD…There is no science in it…”
“On the contrary, there was scientific advancement among our ancestors…While my ancestors were learning and teaching the secrets of life and universe, the homo sapience of the West were still crawling in all fours and living in the caves….”
– While my ancestors were calculating the exact distance to the minutest details, between the earth and sun or teaching Vedic mathematics and astronomy, the West was believing the earth is flat till a couple of hundreds of years ago.
– Should I challenge my ancestors and convert my belief to the extent that Coco Cola is better than natural honey?
No – I don’t need a certificate or empirical scientific proof approved by any international scientific body to understand the presence of God in monkeys and lions. At least monkeys are our ancestors and lions are the kings in the forest.
(A forwarded message – for the benefit of public to understand Hinduism clearly)
AUGUST 21, 2013
“The Top 10 Things Amazing Leaders Do” by Robin Sharma
10 of the most valuable and practical insights on leadership that have taught to our global corporate clients like Starbucks, IBM, Nike, GE and FedEx. These ideas have helped them do some great things. They might deliver the same results for you.
#1. THE JOB OF A LEADER IS TO GROW MORE LEADERS.
I’ll be blunt: if you’re not building more leaders, then you’re not leading, you’re following. Your job (regardless of whether or not you have a title) is to help people do work they never dreamed they could do. Your job is to inspire people to own their talents, express their gifts and do the best work of their lives. That’s part of what it truly means to lead.
#2. NOTHING HAPPENS UNTIL YOU MOVE.
Start small, dream huge but begin today. Nothing happens until you take massive action. The sad reality is that procrastination is nothing more than the defense mechanism of choice used by scared people. Here’s what I mean: if we actually did our goals and acted on our visions, we’d become ultra-successful. And spectacular success brings responsibility. That frightens most among us. And so we put off getting great things done. And blame the world for any mediocrity that infuses our lives.
#3. YOUR BEHAVIOR REVEALS YOUR BELIEFS.
You tell the world what you believe via how you behave. Complain all day long and you reveal a deeply ingrained set of beliefs that you are powerless and apathetic. Present work that has typos and poor wording and you express a belief that average is cool with you. Mistreat others and you reveal that you’re selfish–and disconnected from the beautiful humanity that surrounds you. The good news is that as you wire in the beliefs of leadership (versus victimhood), yourbehavior changes automatically.
#4. IDEAS ARE WORTHLESS WITHOUT EXECUTION.
I’d rather have an average idea that my team and I flawlessly execute on than a genius-level idea with poor execution. The best Leaders Without Titles and the organizations that win big are all about “less talk and more do”. Less meetings and more delivery. Less analysis and more rolling up of sleeves and getting amazing projects done.
#5. WHEN YOU LEARN MORE YOU GET TO ACHIEVE MORE.
To double your income, triple your rate of learning. Few things have served my professional career–and the careers of the billionaires, Titans and CEOS I privately coach than this idea. Please simply remember that genius is much less about natural talent and much more about out-studying, out-preparing, out-practising and out-learning everyone around you. Almost nothing yields the return on investment that investing in workshops, conferences, online course, audiobooks/books and coaching does..
#6. TAKE CARE OF THE RELATIONSHIP AND THE MONEY TAKES CARE OF ITSELF.
Leadership is about relationships. The smartest, fastest and most effective leaders all get that the whole game is about people–developing teammates + serving customers + making the world a whole lot better by the way you show up in it. Learn to listen like a master. Commit to being more inspirational. Keep your promises. Do nice things for people. Be the most generous person you know. Staggeringly great opportunities will come your way. Trust me.
#7. RESPECT IS NOT GRANTED BUT EARNED.
A title, position and a large office do not guarantee people will respect you. Nope. You’ve got to earn that gift. And the quickest way to earn respect is to give it. No need to say much more.
#8. DONT CONFUSE MOVEMENT WITH PROGRESS.
Yes, we live in The Age of Dramatic Distraction. According to The Financial Times we collectively spend 100,000,000 minutes a day playing Angry Birds on our smartphones. Most people in business are spending the absolute best hours of their days being busy being busy. Leaders Without Titles are completely different. I teach my clients a whole system of tactics to 20X productivity but a few to apply are these: start your day at 5 am/set 5 daily goals and get them done before leaving the office (that’s 1850 “small wins” in 12 months)/use your first 90 minutes at work to fuel your most important project/get good at saying no.
#9. VICTIMS DON’T DO GIANT THINGS.
Victims make excuses while leaders drive exceptional results. You can spot a victim a mile away: they blame and complain and are negative and cynical. They’ve given away their power to achieve amazing things to other people and outer conditions for so long they’ve actually conditioned themselves to think they have none. You are not a victim. This day–and every one that follows for the rest of your life–offers a platform of possibility. And the great thing about using your power to make things better is that the more you use it, the more powerful you become.
#10. LIFE IS SHORT SO BE OF USE.
My Dad is awesome. He often said, “Robin, when you were born, you cried while the world rejoiced. Son, live your life in such a way that when you die, the world cries while you rejoice.” I’ve always remembered my Dad’s striking advice. And carried it with me in all that I do. To truly be a leader has nothing to do with ego-stroking, applause and fame. No, to be a leader is to make phenomenal contributions that make the world better and cause a lasting difference. To lead is to serve. And to be of use.
Source: Robin’s ultra-inspiring eBook “The Little Black Book of Stunning Success” Leadership. Love that word.
AUGUST 1, 2013
13 Smart Habits That Will Help You
The daily work we do – in school, at work or in a business – can easily become overwhelming, ineffective and suck the energy and joy out of what you are doing.
Over the years my experience has been that it is essential to keep my work simple and light to get better results in less time and to make things more fun (or at least more acceptable).
In this article I’d like to recommend 13 habits that have helped me to do so.
1. Prepare your day the evening before. Pack your bag or suitcase. Pack the leftovers from your dinner in a container and put it in the fridge. Put your keys, wallet etc. in a place where you can easily find them as you head out in the morning. This preparation will help you to have a less stressful morning.
2. Just check your email once a day. Checking email, other statistics or social media accounts many times a day tends to drain a lot of time, energy and can leave you unfocused and stressed. Try checking and processing all of those things just once a day instead. I do it at the end of my workday.
If that is not possible for you then try to postpone it for a few hours at least. And put your morning energy and focus into your most important task of the day.
3. Write shorter emails. Limit your emails to 1-5 sentences when possible. You can also have some canned responses for common questions saved in a folder in your email program. This will help you to spend less time and energy on your daily email processing.
4. Be 5-10 minutes early for appointments. This will make your time of travel during the day into a time of relaxation and recharging. Instead of a time of stress and anxiety. Plus, people tend to like when other people are on time.
5. Work on just one thing at a time. It will be easier to focus and to do a good job. And to do it in less time compared to if you try to multi-task (at least if you are anything like me).
6. Work in a cone of silence. Just before you start working on that one thing shut down your email program and instant messaging programs. Shut the door to your office. Put your cell phone in silent mode and put it in a drawer. If possible, shut down your internet connection. Or use an extension for your browser like Stay Focused.
7. During your day regularly ask yourself questions for simplicity and focus. It is easy to get off track during a regular workday. To stay on track or to get back there if you get lost use questions like:
– What is the most important thing I can do right now?
– What would I work on if I only had 2 hours for work today?
– Is doing this bringing me closer to my goal?
– Am I keeping things extremely simple right now?
8. Let your lunch time be a time of relaxing. Eat slowly. Put down the fork between bites to make that easier. Eat mindfully and savor each bite. Eating your lunch this way can help you to relax and to release quite a bit of stress in the middle of your workday. Plus, it can help you to not overeat because it takes your brain 20 minutes to register that you are full. By slowing down your eating your brain can stop you before you eat too much.
9. Spend 80% of your time focusing on a solution. And only 20% of your time on dwelling on your issue, challenge or problem. Instead of doing it the other way around. This makes it easier to live a lighter and more action-filled life and to not fall down into a pit of self-pity or getting stuck in a mental habit of perceived powerlessness.
10. Ask for help. You don’t have to always go it alone. You can ask for help. You may not always get it but you may also be surprised at how helpful and kind people can be in helping you ease your burdens and solve a challenge. Just don’t forget to do the same for them as best you can when they ask.
11. When overwhelmed, breathe and then say to yourself: just take care of today. Focus only on that. Forget about all those tomorrows and your yesterdays. Go small, narrow your focus greatly and just take care of today. Then take care of tomorrow when it comes.
12. Consciously set and maintain firm boundaries between your work and personal time. Have a set stop time for your daily work (mine is 7 o clock). Do not work on weekends. Consciously manage your boundaries and you’ll have less stress and more energy and focus both to do better work and to have a personal life of higher quality. This is one of the most important and often overlooked habits in this article.
13. Be smart about the 3 fundamentals of energy. By that I mean getting enough sleep, exercising a couple of times a week and eating healthy. This may seem very obvious in theory. But in practice it makes a world of difference for your optimism, energy levels, ability to handle stress and to think clearly.
Many years ago in a small Indian village,A farmer had the misfortune of owing a large sum of money to a village moneylender. The Moneylender, who was old and ugly, fancied the farmer’s beautiful Daughter. So he proposed a bargain.He said he would forgot the farmer’s debt if he could marry his Daughter. Both the farmer and his daughter were horrified by the Proposal.So the cunning money-lender suggested that they let Providence decide the matter. He told them that he would put a black Pebble and a white pebble into an empty money bag. Then the girl would have to pick one pebble from the bag.
1) If she picked the black pebble, she would become his wife and her father’s debt would be forgiven.
2) If she picked the white pebble she need not marry him and her father’s debt would still be forgiven.
3) But if she refused to pick a pebble, her father would be thrown into Jail.
They were standing on a pebble strewn path in the farmer’s field. As They talked, the moneylender bent over to pick up two pebbles. As he Picked them up, the sharp-eyed girl noticed that he had picked up two Black pebbles and put them into the bag.
He then asked the girl to pick A pebble from the bag.
Now, imagine that you were standing in the field. What would you have Done if you were the girl? If you had to advise her, what would you Have told her?
Careful analysis would produce three possibilities:
1. The girl should refuse to take a pebble.
2. The girl should show that there were two black pebbles in the bag And expose the money-lender as a cheat.
3. The girl should pick a black pebble and sacrifice herself in order To save her father from his debt and imprisonment.
Take a moment to ponder over the story. The above story is used with The hope that it will make us appreciate the difference between lateral And logical thinking.
The girl’s dilemma cannot be solved with Traditional logical thinking. Think of the consequences if she chooses The above logical answers.
What would you recommend to the Girl to do?
Try to answer before scrolling down. . .
Well, here is what she did ….
The girl put her hand into the moneybag and drew out a pebble. Without Looking at it, she fumbled and let it fall onto the pebble-strewn path Where it immediately became lost among all the other pebbles.
“Oh, how clumsy of me,” she said. “But never mind, if you look into the Bag for the one that is left, you will be able to tell which pebble I Picked.”
Since the remaining pebble is black, it must be assumed that she had Picked the white one. And since the money-lender dared not admit his Dishonesty, the girl changed what seemed an impossible situation into An extremely advantageous one.MORAL OF THE STORY:
Most complex problems do have a solution.
It is only that we don’t attempt to think.
(Received an email forward)
Fish Which Eat The Shark
The Japanese have always loved fresh fish.
But the water close to Japan has not held many fish for decades.
… So to feed the Japanese population, fishing boats got bigger and went further than ever. The further the fishermen went, the longer it took to bring the fish.
If the return trip took more time, the fish were not fresh.
To solve this problem, fish companies installed freezers on their boats. They would catch the fish and freeze them at sea. Freezers allowed the boats to go further and stay longer.
However, the Japanese could taste the difference between fresh and frozen fish. And they did not like the taste of frozen fish. The frozen fish brought a lower price.
So, fishing companies installed fish tanks. They would catch the fish and stuff them in the tanks, fin to fin. After a little thrashing around, they were tired, dull, and lost their fresh-fish taste.
The fishing industry faced an impending crisis! But today, they get fresh-tasting fish to Japan. How did they manage?
To keep the fish tasting fresh, the Japanese fishing companies still put the fish in the tanks but with a small shark.
The fish are challenged and hence are constantly on the move. The challenge they face keeps them alive and fresh!
Have we realized that some of us are also living in a pond but most of the time tired and dull? Basically in our lives, sharks are new challenges to keep us active. If we are steadily conquering challenges, we are happy.
Our challenges keep you energized. Put a shark in the tank and see how far we can really go!
Who says, he is blind?
(Read the following story, I salute this ‘Mt. Everest’ high confident boy. The intake from this story strongly recommends that when ‘WILL’ emerges, all ‘impossible’ things have to vanish – Balaji Canchi Sistla)
Visually impaired Delhi student Kartik Sawhney has repeatedly been denied permission to appear for the IIT-JEE in the past three years because of his disability. However, in March 2013, he was awarded a fully funded scholarship to pursue engineering at Stanford University in the US. This is his story.
On May 27, 2013, when 18-year-old Kartik Sawhney scored 96 per cent in his Class 12 CBSE examination, he became the country’s first ever visually impaired student to have achieved the feat in the science stream.
Appearing from Delhi Public School, RK Puram, he scored 99 in computer science (his favourite subject) and 95 each in English, mathematics, physics and chemistry; his total is 479 out of 500.
Recalling some of the challenges, he says, “Studying with normal students wasn’t easy, and neither was choosing a stream of my choice.”
Determination and perseverance are the key factors to his success — he simply would not take no for an answer.
“A lot of people think that disabilities limits you from doing certain things. But I think success comes to those who believe in their strengths,” he states.
Sawhney, who comes from a middle class family — his father Ravinder Sawhney is a businessman and mother Indu Sawhney a homemaker — confesses that aiming high and making tough decisions at every stage was still easier than executing them.
For three years in a row, he has been denied permission to appear for the IIT-JEE; he was told that there is no provision for blind students to take the competitive exam. But he did not lose hope and applied to universities abroad.
And in March 2013, Sawhney received a fully funded scholarship to pursue a five-year engineering programme at Stanford University. Once armed with this degree, he intends to “improve the condition of visually impaired back in India”.
In this interview, the inspiring young man discusses the many challenges he’s faced to come this far, what miffs him about the Indian administration and tells us what keeps him going.
What were the challenges you faced when appearing for the CBSE exam?
Since no other blind student had pursued science in Class 11, I had to write several letters to the Controller of Examinations, CBSE, to make an exception.
There were a lot of issues to be considered if I had to pursue science. For example, e-books for Class 11 and 12 science subjects were not available for blind students.
Along with my school principal Dr D R Saini, I must have written about 20 letters to the CBSE, after which they eventually considered my request.
Moreover, since science is not a theory-based stream alone, I tried to convince the CBSE authorities to allow me to perform experiments assisted by someone from a science background; they refused, providing me instead with an individual from a non-science background.
If there were no e-books, how did you study?
I generally use a screen-reading software called JAWS, which converts text into audio; it basically reads out digital content. Till Class 10, I did not face so much difficulty because the textbooks were available in digital format. Only the classroom notes had to be keyed in separately.
In Class 11, however, I had to seek help from my peers and family members, who would dictate the chapters from the textbook while I typed them into the computer.
The syllabus for Class 11 and 12 was extensive, so I had to type about 100 to 200 pages every day before I could study them.
This whole process ensured that I took longer than other students to prepare, but now when I look back, I can say that it was well worth the effort and hard work.
How did you manage laboratory experiments?
When it comes to empowering visually impaired students, unfortunately India is not as advanced as the West is.
In the US and UK, there is specialised audio-enabled laboratory equipment that reads out both the instructions and inference for you. However, in India, we are yet to subscribe to such technology because it is very expensive. I’m told that a single piece of equipment costs Rs 60,000 and above.
So in my case, as I mentioned earlier, I was provided with an assistant from a non-science background who performed the experiments on my behalf.
During the laboratory sessions, I could easily read out the instructions from the handbook and report inferences that could be experienced by touch or smell, but I needed help to complete most other experiments.
For example, I could identify a particular chemical by its peculiar smell, but I could not identify the colour of the gas or the chemicals involved in the process. For such experiments I had to depend on someone else.
How did you cope studying with other students at Delhi Public School?
Prior to joining DPS, for two years I’d undergone training at the National Association for the Blind. And I was given special permission to use either a computer or a laptop to maintain notes, for which I’m indebted to my school.
But the transition from NAB to DPS wasn’t smooth. I continued to be dependent on digital material and since each session would not last beyond 45 minutes, I had to further sharpen my concentration so that I could take maximum notes.
Both my teachers and friends at school were helpful. The teachers were kind enough to repeat themselves and also encouraged me to meet them after class if I had any doubts, but they could only do so much. I had to do the learning on my own, which was frustrating at times, especially because I would not understand simple descriptions.
What about examinations? How was your performance rated?
For theory subjects, I was provided with a soft copy of the question paper, which would be read out to me by a reader or a teacher.
While others attempted them on paper, I had to type the responses on a computer. I was given the same time as the others and when I was done attempting the paper, I had to take a printout and give it to the concerned faculty member for evaluation.
For practical examinations, I was allowed to take a multiple-choice computer-based test, which was sometimes combined with a viva (oral test).
Have you ever faced instances when a reader was not able to communicate to you effectively?
Yes, there have been several! Sometimes I would not understand what the reader was trying to say, particularly when a question involved symbols.
Since the CBSE provided me with a reader who was from a non-science background, during one of my papers I simply failed to understand the description of the symbol this reader was trying to give me.
Without identifying the symbol, I could not proceed further. There I ended up losing precious time. I could not even complain, because they were already doing me a great favour by making such a facility available.
Fearing precisely such situations, I had requested the board to provide me with someone from a science background, but they did not oblige.
What made you give up on your dream of studying engineering at an IIT?
I had always thought highly of the IITs. I dreamed that if I were to study engineering in India, it had to be from one of the IITs.
However, since I was visually impaired I realised that there was no provision for people like me to appear for the JEE, which is a highly competitive test.
So between 2010 and 2012, I wrote several letters to the IITs in Madras, Kanpur and Delhi, respectively. Each time, they not only turned down my request, but were also rude to me.
Although the IITs have a three per cent reservation for the physically handicapped, it is restricted to students with poor or low vision. Since I am 100 per cent blind, they told me that I am not qualified to take the JEE.
When some NGOs tried to take up my case, a faculty member from one of the IITs told one particular organisation that since the JEE is a highly competitive test, they could not arrange for a reader or a separate form of testing for me. Moreover, they were apprehensive of cheating — they feared that any reader assisting me may try and help me with the answers too. How absurd is that?
At first I was very disappointed. I thought that if leading Indian institutes like the IITs are not willing to consider my abilities and accommodate me as a student, I will not be able to pursue a higher education.
And after being turned down for three years successively, I realised that there was no point in waiting. Even if they were to allow me to study there eventually, I would have to face even more serious challenges and I wasn’t even sure how long I’d have to wait to see that day. It was the lack of options in India that forced me to look abroad.
How do you intend to make use of your international education?
Internationally, Stanford is the best place to pursue engineering. Ever since I understood computers, I have been passionate about computer science engineering.
I have already designed this software called ‘STEM made easy’, which has two different applications and aims to help blind students like me study subjects like math and science easily.
With the benefit of a Stanford education, I think it’s not only possible to shape up my computing skills, but also try and develop applications that will improve the condition of the visually impaired back in India.
What are your interests?
I love music, particularly Indian classical music and have been professionally trained in singing for 10 years now. In fact, when I was in Class IX, I was one of 10 talented students selected from across India, who received the rare opportunity to receive training from the late Pandit Ravi Shankar.
I also enjoy learning computer languages and designing new applications.
Who inspires you?
I have always admired Dr A P J Abdul Kalam. In 2005, I had the opportunity to interact with him and I must say, he had inspiring words for me about how to perceive life and its challenges.
When Dr Kalam learned of my disability and what I had achieved, he told me: “Son, it is better to have a vision (foresight), than merely have vision (eye sight).” I will always value his words.
What are your greatest learnings?
When I was young and somebody told me that I could not attempt something because I was blind, I’d feel bad.
But over the years, I have realised that nobody is perfect. All of us have weaknesses.
I feel that it is unfair to compare one set of abilities to another, or set restrictions merely on the basis of any deformities. I hope people in power realise that everyone is differently abled and instead of pointing out our flaws, see what can be done to improve the current regulations in a way that can benefit several boys and girls like me.
Do you have a message you’d like to share with our readers?
Do not judge people based on what they lack; instead, focus on what they are capable of and if possible, help them get closer to their goals.
It is okay to get frustrated when things don’t work your way. If success came so easy, we would not value it so much. Whenever you find yourself in a difficult situation, try and look at the better and brighter side of things. There is no excuse for not working hard. And if you do, you are destined to taste success sooner or later.
Tips To Make Effective Decisions
It is true that you are the product of your own thoughts and decisions. Whatever you decide on daily basis, whatever you do in your routine life is directly or indirectly linked to your future. That means you are making the foundation of your destiny with your decision and actions in your routine life. So by looking at the bigger picture, it is right to conclude that decision making is critically important for your success and achievements of lifetime goals.
Given below is the list of insightful factors which you need to consider while making decisions.
1. Consider the short term and long term consequences: Whether the decision is materialistic or a sensitive family matter. You have to consider short terms and long terms benefits.
2. Cost Vs Quality if applicable. If you intend to purchase something, consider cost, quality, warranty perspectives. Usually cheep products have less life and bad quality but not the case always. To cope up with this, define your budget and then carefully analyze all the options which are falling within your budget.
3. Need Vs Wants Analysis: Are you purchasing for pleasure or it is your long term need. Remember this is a difference between pleasure and happiness. Sometimes pleasure does not last long so you don’t want to spend a lot for the sake of short time pleasure. If you are in Need of something then consider point-1 and point-2.
4. Consider Emotions: This is quite sensitive aspect. You have to put yourself in everyone’s shoes to understand his/her emotions. You don’t want to hurt someone with your decision instead you want to keep your stake holders emotionally satisfied. Emotional Intelligence is an art; learn it by reading on internet. To understand people you have to have true sense of judging people
5. Consider Win-Win: A balanced approach in which everyone gains is always recommended.
6. Consider all Options: Don’t stop your brain on one idea or approach. Think about more options. Seek advice from others on different possible solutions of the given situation/problem. to the problems which need decisions.
7. Ask for Criticism: If possible ask for criticism before implementing the decision. Although it’s never too late to ask for criticism even after your decision, feedback always helps in your future.
8. Learn to differentiate between Urgent and Important tasks.
9. Closely Observe Others: Think about what your friend/colleague/acquaintance did under a specific condition. A wise man always learns from the mistakes of others.
Sent by: ALAN Peter HILDER, A.F. AIM Assoc. I E Aust A.M. AIRAH M.SAGS
Can be contacted: firstname.lastname@example.org
Narayana Murthy on Western Values!
Ladies and gentlemen:
It is a pleasure to be here at the Lal Bahadur Shastri Institute of Management. Lal Bahadur Shastri was a man of strong values and he epitomized simple living. He was a freedom fighter and innovative administrator who contributed to nation building in full measure. It is indeed a matter of pride for me to be chosen for the Lal Bahadur Shastri Award for Public Administration and Management Sciences. I thank the jury for this honour.
When I got the invitation to speak here, I decided to speak on an important topic on which I have pondered for years – the role of Western values in contemporary Indian society. Coming from a company that is built on strong values, the topic is close to my heart. Moreover, an organization is representative of society, and some of the lessons that I have learnt are applicable in the national context.
In fact, values drive progress and define quality of life in society.
The word community joins two Latin words com (“together” or “with”) and onus (“one”). A community, then, is both one and many. It is a unified multitude and not a mere group of people. As it is said in the Vedas: Man can live individually, but can survive only collectively.
Hence, the challenge is to form a progressive community by balancing the interests of the individual and that of the society. To meet this, we need to develop a value system where people accept modest sacrifices for the common good.
What is a value system? It is the protocol for behaviour that enhances the trust, confidence and commitment of members of the community. It goes beyond the domain of legality – it is about decent and desirable behaviour. Further, it includes putting the community interests ahead of your own. Thus, our collective survival and progress is predicated on sound Values.
There are two pillars of the cultural value system – loyalty to family and loyalty to community. One should not be in isolation to the other, because, successful societies are those which combine both harmoniously. It is in this context that I will discuss the role of Western values in contemporary Indian society.
Some of you here might say that most of what I am going to discuss are actually Indian values in old ages, and not Western values. I live in the present, not in the bygone era. Therefore, I have seen these values practiced primarily in the West and not in India, hence the title of the topic.
I am happy as long as we practice these values – whether we call it Western or old Indian values. As an Indian, I am proud to be part of a culture, which has deep-rooted family values. We have tremendous loyalty to the family. For instance, parents make enormous sacrifices for their children. They support them until they can stand on their own feet. On the other side, children consider it their duty to take care of aged parents.
We believe, ‘mathru devo bhava’ – mother is God, and ‘pithru devo bhava’ – father is God. Further, brothers and sisters sacrifice for each other.
In fact, the eldest brother or sister is respected by all the other siblings. As for marriage, it is held to be a sacred union – husband and wife are bonded, most often, for life. In joint families, the entire family works towards the welfare of the family. There is so much love and affection in our family life.
This is the essence of Indian values and one of our key strengths. Our families act as a critical support mechanism for us. In fact, the credit to the success of Infosys goes, as much to the founders as to their families, for supporting them through the tough times.
Unfortunately, our attitude towards family life is not reflected in our attitude towards community behaviour. From littering the streets to corruption to breaking of contractual obligations, we are apathetic to the common good. In the West – the US, Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand – individuals understand that they have to be responsible towards their community.
The primary difference between the West and us is that, there, people have a much better societal orientation. They care more for the society than we do. Further, they generally sacrifice more for the society than us. Quality of life is enhanced because of this. This is where we need to learn from the West.
I will talk about some of the lessons that we, Indians, can learn from the West.
In the West, there is respect for the public good. For instance, parks free of litter, clean streets, public toilets free of graffiti – all these are instances of care for the public good. On the contrary, in India, we keep our houses clean and water our gardens everyday – but, when we go to a park, we do not think twice before littering the place.
Corruption, as we see in India, is another example of putting the interest of oneself, and at best that of one’s family, above that of the society. Society is relatively corruption free in the West. For instance, it is very difficult to bribe a police officer into avoiding a speeding ticket.
This is because of the individual’s responsible behaviour towards the community as a whole On the contrary, in India, corruption, tax-evasion, cheating and bribery have eaten into our vitals. For instance, contractors bribe officials, and construct low-quality roads and bridges. The result is that society loses in the form of substandard defence equipment and infrastructure, and low-quality recruitment, just to name a few impediments. Unfortunately, this behavior is condoned by almost everyone.
Apathy in solving community matters has held us back from making progress, which is otherwise within our reach. We see serious problems around us but do not try to solve them. We behave as if the problems do not exist or is somebody else’s. On the other hand, in the West, people solve societal problems proactively. There are several examples of our apathetic attitude. For instance, all of us are aware of the problem of drought in India.
More than 40 years ago, Dr. K. L. Rao – an irrigation expert, suggested creation of a water grid connecting all the rivers in North and South India, to solve this problem.
Unfortunately, nothing has been done about this. The story of power shortage in Bangalore is another instance. In 1983, it was decided to build a thermal power plant to meet Bangalore’s power requirements. Unfortunately, we have still not started it.
Further, the Milan subway in Bombay is in a deplorable state for the last 40 years, and no action has been taken.
To quote another example, considering the constant travel required in the software industry; five years ago, I had suggested a 240-page passport. This would eliminate frequent visits to the passport office.
In fact, we are ready to pay for it. However, I am yet to hear from the Ministry of External Affairs on this.
We, Indians, would do well to remember Thomas Hunter’s words: Idleness travels very slowly, and poverty soon overtakes it. What could be the reason for all this? We were ruled by foreigners for over thousand years. Thus, we have always believed that public issues belonged to some foreign ruler and that we have no role in solving them.
Moreover, we have lost the will to proactively solve our own problems.
Thus, we have got used to just executing someone else’s orders. Borrowing Aristotle’s words: We are what we repeatedly do. Thus, having done this over the years, the decision-makers in our society are not trained for solving problems. Our decision-makers look to somebody else to take decisions. Unfortunately, there is nobody to look up to, and this is the tragedy.
Our intellectual arrogance has also not helped our society. I have travelled extensively, and in my experience, have not come across another society where people are as contemptuous of better societies as we are, with as little progress as we have achieved. Remember that arrogance breeds hypocrisy. No other society gloats so much about the past as we do, with as little current accomplishment.
Friends, this is not a new phenomenon, but at least a thousand years old. For instance, Al Barouni, the famous Arabic logician and traveller of the 10th century, who spent about 30 years in India from 997 AD to around 1027 AD, referred to this trait of Indians.
According to him, during his visit, most Indian pundits considered it below their dignity even to hold arguments with him. In fact, on a few occasions when a pundit was willing to listen to him, and found his arguments to be very sound, he invariably asked Barouni: which Indian pundit taught these smart things!
The most important attribute of a progressive society is respect for others who have accomplished more than they themselves have, and learn from them. Contrary to this, our leaders make us believe that other societies do not know anything! At the same time, everyday, in the newspapers, you will find numerous claims from our leaders that ours is the greatest nation. These people would do well to remember Thomas Carlyle’s words: The greatest of faults is to be conscious of none.
If we have to progress, we have to change this attitude, listen to people who have performed better than us, learn from them and perform better than them. Infosys is a good example of such an attitude. We continue to rationalize our failures. No other society has mastered this part as well as we have. Obviously, this is an excuse to justify our incompetence, corruption, and apathy. This attitude has to change.
As Sir Josiah Stamp has said: “It is easy to dodge our responsibilities, but we cannot dodge the consequences of dodging our responsibilities”
Another interesting attribute, which we Indians can learn from the West, is their accountability. Irrespective of your position, in the West, you are held accountable for what you do. However, in India, the more ‘important’ you are, the less answerable you are. For instance, a senior politician once declared that he ‘forgot’ to file his tax returns for 10 consecutive years – and he got away with it. To quote another instance, there are over 100 loss making public sector units (central) in India. Nevertheless, I have not seen action taken for bad performance against top managers in these organizations.
Dignity of labour is an integral part of the Western value system. In the West, each person is proud about his or her labour that raises honest sweat. On the other hand, in India, we tend to overlook the significance of those who are not in professional jobs. We have a mindset that reveres only supposedly intellectual work.
For instance, I have seen many engineers, fresh from college, who only want to do cutting-edge work and not work that is of relevance to business and the country. However, be it an organization or society, there are different people performing different roles. For success, all these people are required to discharge their duties. This includes everyone from the CEO to the person who serves tea – every role is important. Hence, we need a mindset that reveres everyone who puts in honest work.
Indians become intimate even without being friendly. They ask favours of strangers without any hesitation. For instance, the other day, while I was travelling from Bangalore to Mantralaya, I met a fellow traveller on the train. Hardly 5 minutes into the conversation, he requested me to speak to his MD about removing him from the bottom 10% list in his company, earmarked for disciplinary action. I was reminded of what Rudyard Kipling once said: A westerner can be friendly without being intimate while an easterner tends to be intimate without being friendly.
Yet another lesson to be learnt from the West is about their professionalism in dealings. The common good being more important than personal equations, people do not let personal relations interfere with their professional dealings. For instance, they don’t hesitate to chastise a colleague, even if he is a personal friend, for incompetent work.
In India, I have seen that we tend to view even work interactions from a personal perspective. Further, we are the most ‘thin-skinned’ society in the world – we see insults where none is meant. This may be because we were not free for most of the last thousand years. Further, we seem to extend this lack of professionalism to our sense of punctuality. We do not seem to respect the other person’s time.
The Indian Standard Time somehow seems to be always running late. Moreover, deadlines are typically not met. How many public projects are completed on time? The disheartening aspect is that we have accepted this as the norm rather than the exception. In the West they show professionalism by embracing meritocracy. Meritocracy by definition means that we cannot let personal prejudices affect our evaluation of an individual’s performance. As we increasingly start to benchmark ourselves with global standards, we have to embrace meritocracy.
In the West, right from a very young age, parents teach their children to be independent in thinking. Thus, they grow up to be strong, confident individuals. In India, we still suffer from feudal thinking.
I have seen people, who are otherwise bright, refusing to show independence and preferring to be told what to do by their boss. We need to overcome this attitude if we have to succeed globally.
The Western value system teaches respect to contractual obligation. In the West, contractual obligations are seldom dishonoured. This is important – enforceability of legal rights and contracts is the most important factor in the enhancement of credibility of our people and nation.
In India, we consider our marriage vows as sacred. We are willing to sacrifice in order to respect our marriage vows. However, we do not extend this to the public domain. For instance, India had an unfavourable contract with Enron. Instead of punishing the people responsible for negotiating this, we reneged on the contract – this was much before we came to know about the illegal activities at Enron.
To quote another instance, I had given recommendations to several students for the national scholarship for higher studies in US universities. Most of them did not return to India even though contractually they were obliged to spend five years after their degree in India.
In fact, according to a professor at a reputed US university, the maximum default rate for student loans is among Indians – all of these students pass out in flying colours and land lucrative jobs, yet they refuse to pay back their loans. Thus, their action has made it difficult for the students after them, from India, to obtain loans. We have to change this attitude.
Further, we Indians do not display intellectual honesty. For example, our political leaders use mobile phones to tell journalists on the other side that they do not believe in technology! If we want our youngsters to progress, such hypocrisy must be stopped. We are all aware of our rights as citizens. Nevertheless, we often fail to acknowledge the duty that accompanies every right. To borrow Dwight Eisenhower’s words: People that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both. Our duty is towards the community as a whole, as much as it is towards our families.
We have to remember that fundamental social problems grow out of a lack of commitment to the common good. To quote Henry Beecher: Culture is that which helps us to work for the betterment of all. Hence, friends, I do believe that we can make our society even better by assimilating these Western values into our own culture – we will be stronger for it.
Most of our behaviour comes from greed, lack of self-confidence, lack of confidence in the nation, and lack of respect for the society. To borrow Gandhi’s words: There is enough in this world for everyone’s need, but not enough for everyone’s greed. Let us work towards a society where we would do unto others what we would have others do unto us. Let us all be responsible citizens who make our country a great place to live.
In the words of Churchill: ‘Responsibility is the price of greatness’.
We have to extend our family values beyond the boundaries of our home.
Finally, let us work towards maximum welfare of the maximum people – Samasta janaanaam sukhino bhavantu. Thus, let us – people of this generation, conduct ourselves as great citizens rather than just good people so that we can serve as good examples for our younger generation.
Facts that we in India must learn from Bali (Indonesia)
Bali is a state of Indonesia, a secular country with the biggest Muslim population in the world. But the majority in the state of Bali, over 93 %, are Hindus. Bali is home to 4.22 million Hindus whose ancestors had to flee from other islands of Indonesia, after the great Indonesian Hindu Empire Majapahit was defeated and most of Indonesia was converted to Islam. Here are some interesting facts about Bali that every Indian Hindu must know.
1. NYEPI DAY, A DAY OF TOTAL SILENCE (MAUNA) ONCE A YEAR, WHEN EVEN THE NGURAH RAI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT OF DENPASAR IS CLOSED FROM 6 AM TO 6 AM. NO CARS, NO TRAFFIC, NO ENTERTAINMENT, NO TV. SIT IN THE HOUSE, DO CONTEMPLATION, DO PRAYERS. CAN WE INTRODUCE THAT NYEPI DAY IN OUR NOISY COUNTRY?
2. THE CULTURE OF BALI WAS BEGUN BY THE RISHIS OF INDIA, WHOSE NAMES ARE NO LONGER TAUGHT IN THE SCHOOLS OF INDIA BUT WHICH ARE COMMON IN THE SCHOOLS OF BALI—MARKANDEYA, BHARADWAJA, AGASTYA – THE NAMES WE HEAR IN THE PURANAS BUT THEY ARE PART OF THE WAY THE HISTORY OF BALI IS TAUGHT IN THE SCHOOLS OF BALI. HOW MANY RISHIS CAN YOU NAME? DO YOU REMEMBER ANY ONE OF THE 402 NAMES OF THE RISHIS AND RISHIKAS (FEMALE RISHIS) FROM THE RIG VEDA (THE MOST ANCIENT AND MOST SACRED TEXT OF HINDUISM), WHICH ARE OUR ANCESTORS AND THE FORMING FATHERS OF OUR RELIGION – VAIDIKA SANATANA DHARMA?
3. THE NATIONAL BALINESE DRESS FOR BOTH, MEN AND WOMEN, GIRLS AND BOYS, IS DHOTI. NO ONE CAN ENTER A TEMPLE WITHOUT WEARING A DHOTI. EXCEPT IN SOME PARTS OF SOUTH INDIA, DHOTI IS LAUGHED AT IN INDIA TODAY. WHY ARE WE SO ASHAMED OF OUR HERITAGE? EVEN MOST INDIAN PRIESTS CHANGE THEIR DRESS AFTER THEY ARE FINISHED WITH THE WORSHIP BECAUSE THEY FEEL ASHAMED IN A DHOTI??
4. THE SOCIAL, ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL SYSTEM OF BALI IS BASED ON THE PRINCIPLE OF TRI-HITA-KARANA…THREE BENEVOLENT, BENEFICENT PRINCIPLES— THAT EVERY HUMAN BEING HAS THREE ASPECTS …THE DUTY, THE RELATIONSHIP THAT WE HAVE WITH GOD [PARAHYANGAN]; THE RELATIONSHIP THAT WE HAVE WITH HUMAN BEINGS [PAWONGAN]; AND THE RELATIONSHIP THAT WE HAVE WITH NATURE [PALEMAHAN] AND THESE ARE THE THREE PRINCIPLES ON WHICH THE ENTIRE CULTURE OF BALI IS BUILT. THIS WAS ALL ESTABLISHED BY THE RISHIS WHOSE NAMES ARE JUST ABOUT FORGOTTEN IN INDIA WHICH ARE TAUGHT IN THE SCHOOLS OF BALI.
5. TRIKALA SANDHYA (SUN WORSHIP THREE TIMES A DAY) IS PRACTICED IN EVERY BALINESE SCHOOL. THE GAYATRI MANTRA IS RECITED BY EVERY BALINESE SCHOOL CHILD THREE TIMES A DAY. MANY OF THE LOCAL RADIO STATIONS ALSO RELAY TRIKALA SANDHYA THREE TIMES A DAY. CAN WE EVEN THINK OF INTRODUCING SOMETHING LIKE THIS TO OUR SCHOOLS IN INDIA? HOW MANY INDIAN HINDUS ARE AWARE OF THEIR DUTY OF TRIKALA SANDHYA? IT IS AS CENTRAL TO OUR RELIGION AS THE 5 TIMES NAMAZ IS TO ISLAM, YET?
6. IN THE YEAR 1011 AD, AT A PLACE WHICH IS NOW KNOWN AS PURASAMANTIGA… THERE WAS THE FIRST INTERRELIGIOUS CONFERENCE OF THREE RELIGIONS: SHAIVA AGAMA, BAUDDHA AGAMA AND BALIYAGA, THE TRADITIONAL PRE-BUDDHIST, PRE-HINDU, BALINESE RELIGION. THE SCHOLARS AND THE LEADERS SAT DOWN AND WORKED OUT A SYSTEM BY WHICH THE THREE RELIGIONS SHOULD WORK TOGETHER AND EXCHANGE FORMS WITH EACH OTHER AND THAT IS THE RELIGION OF BALI TODAY.
7. IN BALI EVERY PRIEST IS PAID BY THE GOVERNMENT. DESPITE THE FACT THAT INDONESIA IS A SECULAR COUNTRY WITH THE BIGGEST MUSLIM POPULATION IN THE WORLD, THE PRIEST OF EVERY RELIGION IS PAID BY THE GOVERNMENT SO EVERY RELIGION IS SUPPORTED BY THE GOVERNMENT. THAT IS THE INDONESIAN FORM OF SECULARISM. CAN WE EVEN THINK OF THIS IN INDIA?
8. THE NATIONAL MOTTO OF INDONESIA “BHINNEKA TUNGGAL IKA. ONE IS MANY, MANY IS ONE.” IS INSPIRED BY AN INDONESIAN HINDU SCRIPTURE SUTASOMA KAKAVIN. THE COMPLETE QUOTATION IS AS FOLLOWS – “IT IS SAID THAT THE WELL KNOWN BUDDHA AND SHIVA ARE TWO DIFFERENT SUBSTANCES; THEY ARE INDEED DIFFERENT, YET HOW IS IT POSSIBLE TO RECOGNIZE THEIR DIFFERENCE IN A GLANCE, SINCE THE TRUTH OF BUDDHA AND THE TRUTH OF SHIVA ARE ONE? THEY MAY BE DIFFERENT, BUT THEY ARE OF THE SAME KIND, AS THERE IS NO DUALITY IN TRUTH.” WHY CAN’T WE HAVE “EKAM SAD VIPRA BAHUDHA VADANTI” (THE TRUTH IS ONE, BUT THE WISE EXPRESS IT IN VARIOUS WAYS – RIG VEDA) AS OUR NATIONAL MOTTO?
9. BALI IS ONE OF THE WORLD’S MOST PROMINENT RICE GROWERS. EVERY FARM HAS A TEMPLE DEDICATED TO SHRI DEVI AND BHU DEVI (LAKMI THE GODDESS OF WEALTH AND MOTHER EARTH – THE TWO DIVINITIES THAT STAND ON THE EITHER OF SIDE OF TIRUPATI BALA JI IN INDIA). NO FARMER WILL PERFORM HIS AGRICULTURAL DUTIES WITHOUT FIRST MAKING OFFERINGS TO SHRI DEVI AND BHU DEVI. THAT IS CALLED CULTURE, THAT SUBAKSYSTEM. THE AGRICULTURAL AND WATER IRRIGATION PLAN FOR THE ENTIRE COUNTRY WAS CHARTED IN THE 9TH CENTURY. THE PRIESTS OF A PARTICULAR WATER TEMPLE STILL CONTROL THIS IRRIGATION PLAN. AND SOME WORLD BANK OR UNITED NATIONS SCIENTIST DID A COMPUTER MODEL THAT WOULD BE IDEAL FOR BALI. AND WHEN
THEY BROUGHT THE MODEL THE BALINESE SAID ‘WE HAVE BEEN PRACTICING THIS SINCE THE 9TH CENTURY. WHAT ARE YOU BRINGING HERE?’ AND I DON’T KNOW HOW MANY MILLION DOLLARS THESE WTO, THESE WORLD BANK PEOPLE, UNITED NATIONS PEOPLE, SPENT ON CREATING THAT CHART WHICH WAS ALREADY CREATED IN THE 9TH CENTURY WITHOUT ANY COMPUTERS…. AND THAT SUBAK SYSTEM STILL CONTINUES. SUCH SYSTEMS WERE IN PLACE IN VARIOUS PARTS OF THE COUNTRY. ITS REMNANTS ARE STILL VISIBLE HERE IN INDIA. I HAVE VISITED AREAS WHERE THERE IS NO WATER FOR MILES DUE TO DROUGHT, YET THE WELL AT THE LOCAL TEMPLE STILL PROVIDES FRESH WATER.
10. IN BALI HINDUS STILL DON’T READ A PRINTED BOOK WHEN THEY PERFORM PUJA (WORSHIP). THEY READ FROM A LONTAR, WHICH HAVE TRADITIONALLY BEEN SCRIPTED BY HAND ON PALM LEAF. WHEN THEY RECITE THE RAMAYANA KAKAVIN…WHERE THE BOOK IS KEPT, WORSHIP WILL BE PERFORMED. THERE IS A SPECIAL RITUAL OF LIFTING THE SACRED BOOK, CARRYING IT IN A PROCESSION, BRINGING [IT] TO A SPECIAL PLACE, DOING THE BHUMI PUJA, WORSHIPPING THE GROUND THERE AND CONSECRATING THE GROUND, THEN PLACING THE BOOK THERE. THEN THE PRIEST WILL SIT AND RECITE THE RAMAYANA.
WHEN I WAS CALLED TO BALI IT WAS TO TEACH AND PREACH THE VEDIC TEACHINGS. BUT I CAME BACK WITH A HUMBLE REALIZATION THAT I HAVE TO LEARN MORE FROM BALI THAN I CAN ACTUALLY TEACH THEM.
FACTS ACCORDING TO SWAMI VEDA BHARATI, A GREAT MASTER OF MEDITATION FROM THE HIMALAYAN TRADITION.
(By Rutger Kortenhorst and published in Irish Daily – Rutger Kortenhorst, a Sanskrit teacher in John Scottus School in Dublin, Ireland, speaks to parents of his school children on the value of teaching Sanskrit to children, based on his own experience with the language)
Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen, we are going to spend an hour together looking at the topic ‘Why does my child study Sanskrit in John Scottus?’ My bet is that at the end of the hour you will all have come to the conclusion that your children are indeed fortunate that this extraordinary language is part of their curriculum.
Firstly, let us look at Why Sanskrit for my child? We are the only school in Ireland doing this language, so this will need some explaining.
There are another 80 JSS-type schools in UK and also around the world that has made the same decision to include Sanskrit in their curriculum (they are all off-shoots from the School of Philosophy).
Secondly, how is Sanskrit taught? You may have noticed your son or daughter singing Sanskrit grammar songs in the back of the car just for the fun of it on the way home from school. I’ll spend some time telling you HOW we approach teaching Sanskrit now since my learning from India.
But Why Sanskrit?
To answer that we need to look at the qualities of Sanskrit. Sanskrit stands out above all other languages for its beauty of sound, precision in pronunciation and reliability as well as thoroughness in every aspect of its structure. This is why it has never fundamentally changed unlike all other languages. It has had no need to change being the most perfect language of Mankind ever.
If we consider Shakespeare’s English, we realize how different and therefore difficult for us his English language was although it is just English from less than 500 years ago. We struggle with the meaning of Shakespeare’s English or that of the King James Bible. Go back a bit further and we don’t have a clue about the English from the time of Chaucer’s ‘Pilgrim’s Progress’ from around 700 AD. We cannot even call this English anymore and now rightly call it Anglo-Saxon. So English hadn’t even been born!
All languages keep changing beyond recognition. They change because they are defective. The changes are in fact corruptions. They are born and die after seven or eight hundred years –about the lifetime of a Giant Redwood Tree- because after so much corruption they have no life left in them.
Surprisingly there is one language in the world that does not have this short lifespan. Sanskrit is the only exception. It is a never-dying constant. The reason for the constancy in Sanskrit is that it is completely structured and thought out. There is not a word that has been left out in its grammar or etymology, which means every word can be traced back to where it came from originally. This does not mean there is no room for new words either. Just as in English we use older concepts from Greek and Latin to express modern inventions like a television: ‘tele [far] – vision [seeing]’ or ‘computer’.
Sanskrit in fact specializes in making up compound words from smaller words and parts. The word ‘Sams – krita’ itself means ‘completely – made’.
So what advantages are there to a fundamentally unchanging language? What is advantageous about an unchanging friend, say? Are they reliable? What happens if you look at a text in Sanskrit from thousands of years ago?
The exceptional features of Sanskrit have been recognised for a few centuries all over the world, so you will find universities from many countries having a Sanskrit faculty. Whether you go to Hawai, Cambridge or Harvard and even Trinity College Dublin has a seat for Sanskrit –although it is vacant at present. May be one of your children will in time fill this position again?
Although India has been its custodian, Sanskrit has had universal appeal for centuries. The wisdom carried by this language appeals to the West as we can see from Yoga and Ayurvedic Medicine as well as meditation techniques, and practical philosophies like Hinduism, Buddhism and most of what we use in the School of Philosophy. It supports, expands and enlightens rather than conflicts with local traditions and religions.
The precision of Sanskrit stems from the unparalleled detail on how the actual sounds of the alphabet are structured and defined. The sounds have a particular place in the mouth, nose and throat that can be defined and will never change.
This is why in Sanskrit the letters are called the ‘Indestructible’ [aksharáni]. Sanskrit is the only language that has consciously laid out its sounds from first principles. So the five mouth-positions for all Indestructibles [letters] are defined and with a few clearly described mental and physical efforts all are systematically planned: [point out chart] After this description, what structure can we find in a, b, c, d, e, f , g…? There isn’t any, except perhaps that it starts with ‘a’, and goes downhill from there.
Then there is the sheer beauty of the Sanskrit script as we learn it today. [Some examples on the board]
You may well say: ‘Fine, but so why should my son or daughter have yet another subject and another script to learn in their already busy school-day?’ In what way will he or she benefit from the study of Sanskrit in 2012 in the Western world?
The qualities of Sanskrit will become the qualities of your child- that is the mind and heart of your child will become beautiful, precise and reliable.
Sanskrit automatically teaches your child and anybody else studying it to pay FINE attention due to its uncanny precision. When the precision is there the experience is, that it feels uplifting. It makes you happy. It is not difficult even for a beginner to experience this. All you have to do is fine-tune your attention and like music you are drawn in and uplifted. This precision of attention serves all subjects, areas and activities of life both while in school and for the rest of life. This will give your child a competitive advantage over any other children. They will be able to attend more fully, easily and naturally. Thus in terms of relationships, work, sport– in fact all aspects of life, they will perform better and gain more satisfaction. Whatever you attend to fully, you excel in and you enjoy more.
By studying Sanskrit, other languages can be learnt more easily; this being the language all others borrow from fractionally. The Sanskrit grammar is reflected in part in Irish or Greek, Latin or English. They all have a part of the complete Sanskrit grammar. Some being more developed than others, but always only a part of the Sanskrit grammar, which is the only language complete in itself.
What Sanskrit teaches us that there is a language that is ordered, following laws unfailingly and as they are applied your child gets uplifted, not only when they grow up, but as they are saying it! This means they get an unusual but precise, definite and clear insight into language while they are enjoying themselves.
They learn to speak well, starting from Sanskrit, the mother language of all languages. Those who speak well run the world. Barack Obama makes a difference because he can speak well. Mahatma Gandhi could move huge crowds with well-balanced words. Mother Theresa could express herself with simple words which uplift us even now.
The language of the great Master Teachers of mankind from times past is all we have got after centuries and millennia, but they make all the difference. We can enter the remarkable mind of Plato through his words. If your daughter or son can express themselves well through conscious language they will be the leaders of the next generation.
Sanskrit has the most comprehensive writings in the world expressed through the Vedas and the Gítá. The Upanishads –translated by William Butler Yeats have given people from all over the world an insight into universal religious feelings for more than one century now.
To know these well expressed simple words of wisdom in the original is better than dealing with copies or translations as copies are always inferior to originals. We really need clear knowledge on universal religion in an age faced with remarkable levels of religious bigotry and terrorism arising from poorly understood and half-baked religious ideas.
Vivekananda, a great spiritual leader from India revered by all in the World Religious Conference of 1880 in Chicago said:
You can put a mass of knowledge into the world, but that will not do it much good. There must come some culture into the blood. We all know in modern times of nations which have masses of knowledge, but what of them? They are like tigers; they are like savages, because culture is not there.
Knowledge is only skin-deep, as civilization is, and a little scratch brings out the old savage. Such things happen; this is the danger. Teach the masses in the vernaculars, give them ideas; they will get information, but something more is necessary; give them culture.
Sanskrit can help your child to express universal, harmonious and simple truths better. As a result you will really have done your duty as a parent and the world will reap the benefits in a more humane, harmonious and united society. Sanskrit can do this as it is the only language that is based in knowledge all the way. Nothing is left to chance.
Just think for the moment how confusing it is for a child to learn to say ‘rough’, but ‘dough’. And why does the ‘o’ in ‘woman’ sound like an ‘e’ in ‘women’? How come the ‘ci’ in ‘special’ is different from the ‘ci’ in ‘cinema’?
Teachers may well say ‘Just learn it’ as there is no logical explanation, but it only demonstrates to a child that it is all a bit of a hit-and-miss affair. What else does this randomness in the fundamental building-blocks of language teach a child about the world? That it’s just a confusing, random chance-event? How can this give anyone any confidence?
Now go to a language where everything is following rules. Where nothing is left to chance from the humble origin of a letter to the most sophisticated philosophical idea. How will that child meet the world? Surely with confidence, clarity and the ability to express itself?
I have seen myself and others growing in such qualities, because of our contact with Sanskrit. I have just spent a year in India. Though it felt a bit like camping in a tent for a year, it was well worth it.
For many years, we taught Sanskrit like zealots i.e. with high levels of enthusiasm and low levels of understanding, to both adults in the School of Philosophy and children in John Scottus School. We did not perhaps inspire a lot of our students and may have put a number of them off the study of Sanskrit. It felt to me like we needed to go to the source.
Sanskrit teachers worth their salt need to live with people whose daily means of communication is in Sanskrit. I had already spent three summers near Bangalore at ‘Samskrita Bharati’ doing just that and becoming less of an amateur, but it really needed a more thorough study. So I moved into a traditional gurukulam for the year. This meant living on campus, eating lots of rice and putting up with a few power-cuts and water shortages, but by December 2009, I made up my mind that I would step down as vice-principal of the Senior School and dedicate myself to Sanskrit for the rest of my teaching life.
It felt like a promotion to me as quite a few could be vice-principal but right now which other teacher could forge ahead in Sanskrit in Ireland? [Hopefully this will change before I pop off to the next world.] With Sanskrit I’m expecting my mind to improve with age even if my body slows down a little.
Sanskrit is often compared to the full-time teacher, who is there for you 24/7 whereas the other languages are more like part-timers. The effects of studying Sanskrit on me have been first and foremost a realistic confidence. Secondly, it meant I had to become more precise and speak weighing my words more carefully. It also taught me to express myself with less waffle and therefore speak more briefly. My power of attention and retention has undoubtedly increased.
Now, let me explain for a few minutes, HOW Sanskrit is taught. To my surprise it is not taught well in most places in India. Pupils have to learn it from when they are around age 9 to 11 and then they give it up, because it is taught so badly! Only a few die-hards stick with it, in time teaching the same old endings endlessly to the next generation. This is partly due to India having adopted a craving to copy the West and their tradition having been systematically rooted out by colonialism.
For learning grammar and the wisdom of the East, I was well-placed in a traditional gurukulam, but for spoken Sanskrit I felt a modern approach was missing.
Then I found a teacher from the International School belonging to the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry. His name is Narendra. He has developed a novel, inspiring and light method to teach grammar, which doesn’t feel like you do any grammar at all. At the same time it isn’t diluted for beginners so you don’t end up with partial knowledge. I also followed a few Sanskrit Conversation camps, which all brought about more familiarity. Narendra says he owes his method to Sri Aurobindo and his companion The Mother who inspired him to come up with the course we now follow in Dublin. This is one of the many things The Mother said to inspire him:“Teach logically. Your method should be most natural, efficient and stimulating to the mind. It should carry one forward at a great pace. You need not cling there to any past or present manner of teaching.”
This is how I would summarize the principles for teaching Sanskrit as we carry it out at present:
1. Language learning is not for academics as everyone learns to speak a language from an early age before they can read and write and know what an academic is. So why insist in teaching Sanskrit academically?
2. The writing script is not the most fundamental thing to be taught. A language is firstly made of its sounds, words and spoken sentences. [The script we use -though very beautiful- is only a few hundred years old.]
3. Always go from what is known to what is new.
4. Understanding works better than memorisation in this Age. Learning by heart should only take up 10 percent of the mental work, rather than the 90 percent rote learning in Sanskrit up to the recent present.
5. Don’t teach words and endings in isolation; teach them in the context of a sentence as the sentence is the smallest meaningful unit in language.
6. Any tedious memory work which cannot be avoided should be taught in a song.
7. Do not teach grammatical terms. Just as we don’t need to know about the carburetor, when we learn to drive a car.
8. The course should be finished in two years by an average student according to Narendra. This may be a little optimistic given that we are a little out of the loop not living in India, which is still Sanskrit’s custodian. At present I would say it is going to be a three-year course.
9. Language learning must be playful. Use drama, song, computer games and other tricks to make learning enjoyable.
We have started on this course since September and it has certainly put a smile on our pupils’ faces, which makes a pleasant change. I now feel totally confident that we are providing your children with a thorough, structured and enjoyable course. Our students should be well prepared for the International Sanskrit Cambridge exam by the time they finish –age 14/15- at the end of second year. We will also teach them some of the timeless wisdom enshrined in various verses. At present we are teaching them: “All that lives is full of the Lord. Claim nothing; enjoy! Do not covet His property”- in the original of course.
Let us look at the 500 – year cycle of a Renaissance. The last European Renaissance developed three subjects: Art, Music and Science to shape the world we live in today. It had its beginning in Florence. The great Humanist Marsilio Ficino made Plato available to the masses by translating it from Greek to Latin. We live in exciting times and may well be at the beginning of a new Renaissance. It also will be based on three new subjects: Some say that these will be Economics, Law and Language.
Language has to become more universal now as we can connect with each other globally within seconds. NASA America’s Space Program is actively looking at Sanskrit in relation to I.T. and artificial intelligence.
Sri Aurobindo said “…at once majestic and sweet and flexible, strong and clearly-formed and full and vibrant and subtle…”.
What John Scottus pupils have said:
It makes your mind bright, sharp and clear.
It makes you feel peaceful and happy.
It makes you feel BIG.
It cleans and loosens your tongue so you can pronounce any language easily.
What Sanskrit enthusiasts like Rick Briggs in NASA have said:
It gives you access to a vast and liberating literature.
It can describe all aspects of human life from the most abstract philosophical to the latest scientific discoveries, hinting at further developments.
Sanskrit and computers are a perfect fit. The precision play of Sanskrit with computer tools will awaken the capacity in human beings to utilize their innate higher mental faculty with a momentum that would inevitably transform the mind. In fact, the mere learning of Sanskrit by large numbers of people in itself represents a quantum leap in consciousness, not to mention the rich endowment it will provide in the arena of future communication. NASA, California
After many thousands of years, Sanskrit still lives with a vitality that can breathe life, restore unity and inspire peace on our tired and troubled planet. It is a sacred gift, an opportunity. The future could be very bright.
Rick Briggs [NASA]
You may well have a few questions at this stage after which I would like to introduce you to a plant in the audience. A parent turned into a blazing ball of enthusiasm over Sanskrit grammar: John Doran. I would like him to wrap up.
I’ll give NASA’s Rick Briggs the last word from me:
One thing is certain; Sanskrit will only become the planetary language when it is taught in a way which is exciting and enjoyable. Furthermore it must address individual learning inhibitions with clarity and compassion in a setting which encourages everyone to step forth, take risks, make mistakes and learn.
(A forwarded message from a friend of mine)
Be INDIAN but in INDIA
(Received from NRI businessman’s Group in India)
I would like to sum up our performance in the 20th century in one sentence. Indians have succeeded in countries ruled by whites, but failed in their own. This outcome would have astonished leaders of our independence movement. They declared Indians were kept down by white rule and could flourish only under self-rule. This seemed self-evident. The harsh reality today is that Indians are succeeding brilliantly in countries ruled by whites, but failing in India. They are flourishing in the USA and Britain.
But those that stay in India are pulled down by an outrageous system that fails to reward merit or talent, fails to allow people and businesses to grow, and keeps real power with Netas, Politicians, and assorted manipulators. Once Indians go to white-ruled countries, they soar and conquer summits once occupied only by whites.
Rono Dutta has become head of United Airlines, the biggest airline in the world. Had he stayed in India, he would have no chance in Indian Airlines. Even if the top job there was given to him by some godfather, politicians and trade unionists would have ensured that he could never run it like United Airlines.
Vikram Pundit was head of Citigroup until recently, which operates Citibank, one of the largest banks in the world.
Rana Talwar has become head of Standard Chartered Bank, one of the biggest multinational banks in Britain, while still in his 40s. Had he been in India, he would perhaps be a local manager in the State Bank, taking orders from politicians to give loans to politically favored clients.
Lakhsmi Mittal has become the biggest steel baron in the world, with steel plants in the US, Kazakhstan, Germany, Mexico, Trinidad and Indonesia. India’s socialist policies reserved the domestic steel industry for the public sector. So Lakhsmi Mittal went to Indonesia to run his family’s first steel plant there. Once freed from the shackles of India, he conquered the world.
Subhash Chandra of Zee TV has become a global media king, one of the few to beat Rupert Murdoch. He could never have risen had he been limited to India, which decreed a TV monopoly for Indian company, Doordarshan. But technology came to his aid: satellite TV made it possible for him to target India from Hong Kong. Once he escaped Indian rules and soil, he soared.
You may not have heard of 48-year old Gururaj Deshpande. His communications company, Sycamore, is currently valued by the US stock market at over $30 billion, making him perhaps one of the richest Indians in the world. Had he remained in India, he would probably be a politician in the Department of Telecommunications.
Arun Netravali has become president of Bell Labs, one of the biggest research and development centers in the world with 30,000 inventions and several Nobel Prizes to its credit. Had he been in India, he would probably be struggling in the middle cadre of Indian Telephone Industries. Silicon Valley alone contains over 100,000 Indian millionaires.
Indra Krishnamurthy Nooyi has been the CEO of PepsiCo Inc. since 2006, a Fortune 500 company.
Sabeer Bhatia invented Hotmail and sold it to Microsoft for $ 400 million.
Victor Menezes, born in Pune in 1949, was number two in Citibank until late last year.
Shailesh Mehta is CEO of Providian, a top US financial services company.
Also at or near the top are Rakesh Gangwal of US Air, Jamshd Wadia of Arthur Andersen, and Aman Mehta of Hong Kong Shanghai Banking Corp.
In Washington DC, the Indian CEO High Tech Council has no less than 200 members, all high tech-chiefs. While Indians have soared, India has stagnated. At independence India was the most advanced of all colonies, with the best prospects.
Today with a GNP per head of $370, it occupies a lowly 177th position among 209 countries of the world. But poverty is by no means the only or main problem. India ranks near the bottom in the United Nation’s Human Development Index, but high up in Transparency International’s Corruption Index.
The politician-raj brought in by socialist policies is only one reason for India’s failure. The more sordid reason is the rule-based society we inherited from the British Raj is today in tatters. Instead money, muscle and influence matter most.
At independence we were justly proud of our politicians. Today we regard them as scoundrels and criminals. They have created a jungle of laws in the holy name of socialism, and used these to line their pockets and create patronage networks. No influential crook suffers. The Mafia flourish unhindered because they have political links.
We are reverting to our ancient feudal system where no rules applied to the powerful. The British Raj brought in abstract concepts of justice for all, equality before the law. These were maintained in the early years of independence. But sixty years later, citizens wail that India is a lawless land where no rules are obeyed.
Then the British came and imposed a new ethical code on officials. But, he asked, why should we continue to choose British customs over Indian ones now that we are independent?
The lack of transparent rules, properly enforced, is a major reason why talented Indians cannot rise in India. A second reason is the politician-raj, which remains intact despite supposed liberalization. But once talented Indians go to rule-based societies in the west, they take off.
In those societies all people play by the same rules, all have freedom to innovate without being strangled by regulations.
This, then, is why Indians succeed in countries ruled by Non-Indians, and fail in their own.
It is the saddest story of the century. Be Indian BUT Not in INDIA
Ratan Tata – A REAL Indian Hero
(As told by someone from Tata Administrative Services)
Few months after 26/11, Taj group of Hotels owned by TATAs launched their biggest tender ever for remodeling all their Hotels in India and abroad.
Some of the companies who applied for that tender were also Pakistanis. To make their bid stronger, two big industrialists from Pakistan visited Bombay House ( Head office of Tata ) in Mumbai without an appointment to meet up with Ratan Tata since he was not giving them any prior appointment.
They were made to sit at the reception of Bombay house and after a few hours a message was conveyed to them that Ratan Tata is busy and can not meet anyone without an appointment.
Frustrated, these two Paki industrialists went to Delhi and thru their High Commission met up with than Commerce Minister Anand Sharma. Sharma immediately called up Ratan Tata requesting him to meet up with the two Paki Industrialists and consider their tender “enthusiastically”.
Ratan Tata replied…”you could be shameless, I am not” and put the phone down.
Few months later when Pakistani government placed an order of Tata Sumo’s to be imported into Pakistan, Ratan Tata refused to ship a single vehicle to that country. This is the respect and love for motherland that Ratan Tata has.
Something that our current Politicians should learn from.
You got to stand for something in your life…else you will fall for everything……….
Awaken Country men, the Nation is above everything else.
12 rules for being a human being!
Don’t try to be perfect. Just be ‘an excellent example of being human’.
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Growth requires pain. – Be patient and tough, someday this pain will be useful to you. Those with the strength to succeed in the long run are the ones who lay a firm foundation of growth with the bricks that life has thrown at them. So don’t be afraid to fall apart for a little while. Because when it happens, the situation will open an opportunity for you to grow and rebuild yourself into the brilliant person you are capable of being.
You will learn as long as you live. – There is no stage of life that does not contain new lessons. As long as you live there will be something more to learn. And as long as you follow your heart and never stop learning, you’ll turn not older, but newer every day.
There is a positive lesson in every life experience. – Don’t forget to acknowledge the lesson, especially when things don’t go your way. If you make a mistake that sets you back a little, or a business deal or a relationship doesn’t work, it only means a new opportunity is out there waiting. And the lesson you just learned is the first step towards it.
True beauty lives under the skin. – When you start to really know someone, most of their physical characteristics vanish in your mind. You begin to dwell in their energy, recognize their scent, and appreciate their wit. You see only the essence of the person, not the shell. That’s why you can’t fall in love with physical beauty. You can lust after it, be infatuated by it, or want to own it. You can love it with your eyes and your body for a little while, but not your heart in the long-term. And that’s why, when you really connect with a person’s inner self, most physical imperfections become irrelevant.
Only you know what you’re capable of. – Unless someone can look into the core of your heart, and see the degree of your passion, or look into the depths of your soul and see the extent of your will, then they have no business telling you what you can or cannot achieve. Because while they may know the odds, they do not know YOU, and what you’re capable of. That’s something only you know.
Your love creates your happiness. – The happiness you feel is in direct proportion to the love you give. When you love, you subconsciously strive to become better than you are. When you strive to become better than you are, everything around you becomes better too. During your youth, love will be your teacher; in your middle age, love will be your foundation; and in your old age, love will be your fondest memories and your greatest delight.
You earn respect by being respectful. – Respect isn’t something you can demand or manipulate by saying what you think people want to hear. You earn respect by listening, acknowledging feelings and treating others with the same respect you hope to get in return. Treat everyone with kindness and respect, even those who are rude to you – not because they are nice, but because you are.
Negativity poisons the soul. – Don’t let needless drama and negativity stop you from being the best you can be. Avoid the drama, and focus on what truly matters. Life is insanely short and your time is precious, so don’t waste your time on trivial matters. Let go of the things that are weighing you down. As you unclutter your life, you will slowly free yourself to answer the callings of your inner spirit.
Your health is your life. – Regardless of the size and shape of your body, it is the greatest tool you will ever own. Without it, you wouldn’t be alive. How you take care of it or fail to take care of it can make an enormous difference in the quality of your life. Exercise to be fit, not skinny. Eat to nourish your body. To truly be your best, you must give your body the fuel it needs. Toss the junk and fill your kitchen with fresh, whole foods. Run, swim, bike, walk – sweat! Good health is essential for having the energy, stamina and outlook to tackle your goals and dreams.
Letting go is part of moving on to something better. – You will not get what you truly deserve if you’re too attached to the things you’re supposed to let go of. Sometimes you love, and you struggle, and you learn, and you move on. And that’s okay. You must be willing to let go of the life you planned for so you can enjoy the life that is waiting for you.
This moment is a gift. – The truth is, your whole life has been leading up to this moment. Think about that for a second. Every single thing you’ve gone through in life, every high, every low, and everything in between, has led you to this moment right now. This moment is priceless, and it’s the only moment guaranteed to you. This moment is your `life.’
Your choices design your life. – You have a choice each and every single day. Choose to appreciate what you have. Choose to make to make time for yourself. Choose to do something that makes you smile. Choose to be excited. Choose to laugh at your own silliness. Choose to spend time with positive people. Choose to be persistent with your goals. Choose to try again and again. Within your choices lie all the tools and resources you need to design the life of your dreams, it’s just a matter of choosing wisely.
[Courtesy: A Weekly Bulletin of Osmania Campus MBA Alumni Association]
The beauty of being a Hindu lies in your freedom to be who you want to be. Nobody can tell you what to do, or what not to do. There is no central authority, no single leader of the faith. No one can pass an order to excommunicate you, or like in some countries, pass a decree that orders your death by stoning for walking with a strange man.
We don’t appreciate our freedom because we can’t feel the plight of others who aren’t free. Many religions have a central authority with awesome power over the individual. They have a clear chain of command, from the lowliest local priest to the highest central leader. Hinduism somehow escaped from such central authority, and the Hindu has miraculously managed to hold on to his freedom through the ages. How did this happen? Vedanta is the answer. When the writers of Vedanta emerged, around 1500 BC, they faced an organised religion of orthodox Hinduism. This was the post Vedic age, where ritualism was practiced, and the masses had no choice but to follow. It was a coercive atmosphere.
The writers of Vedanta rebelled against this authority and moved away from society into forests. This was how the ‘Aranyakas’ were written, literally meaning ‘writings from the forest’. These later paved the way for the Upanishads, and Vedanta eventually caught the imagination of the masses. It emerged triumphant, bearing with it the clear voice of personal freedom.
This democracy of religious thought, so intrinsic to Vedantic intelligence, sank into the mindset of every Indian. Most couldn’t fathom the deep wisdom it contained, but this much was very clear. They understood that faith was an expression of personal freedom, and one could believe at will. That’s why Hinduism saw an explosion of Gods. There was a God for every need and every creed. If you wanted to build your muscles, you worshiped a God with fabulous muscles. If you wanted to pursue education, there was a Goddess of Learning. If it was wealth you were looking for, then you looked up to the Goddess of wealth — with gold coins coming out of her hands. If you wanted to live happily as a family, you worshiped Gods who specially blessed families. When you grew old and faced oncoming death, you spent time in contemplating a God whose business it was to dissolve everything — from an individual to the entire Universe.
Everywhere, divinity appeared in the manner and form you wanted it to appear, and when its use was over, you quietly discarded that form of divinity and looked at new forms of the divine that was currently of use to you. ‘Yad Bhavam, tad Bhavati’… what you choose to believe becomes your personal truth, and freedom to believe is always more important than belief itself.
Behind all this — was the silent Vedantic wisdom that Gods are but figments of human imagination. As the Kena Upanishad says, “Brahma ha devebhyo vijigye…” — All Gods are mere subjects of the Self. It implies that it is far better that God serves Man than Men serve God. Because Men never really serve God — they only obey the dictates of a religious head who speaks for that God, who can turn them into slaves in God’s name.
Hindus have therefore never tried to convert anyone. Never waged war in the name of religion. The average Hindu happily makes Gods serve him as per his needs. He discards Gods when he has no use for them. And new Gods emerge all the time — in response to market needs. In this tumult, no central authority could survive. No single prophet could emerge and hold sway, no chain of command could be established.
Vedanta had injected an organised chaos into Hinduism, and that’s the way it has been from the last thirty five centuries. Vedanta is also responsible, by default, for sustaining democracy. When the British left India, it was assumed that the nation would soon break up. Nothing of that kind has happened. The pundits of doom forgot that the Indian had been used to religious freedom from thousands of years. When he got political freedom, he grabbed it naturally. After all, when you can discard Gods why can’t you discard leaders? Leaders like Gods are completely expendable to the Indian mindset. They are tolerated as long as they serve the people, and are replaced when needs change. It’s the triumph of people over their leaders, and in this tumult, no dictator can ever take over and rule us. Strange how the thoughts of a few men living in forests, thirty five centuries ago, can echo inside the heart of every Indian. That’s a tribute to the resurgent power of India, and the fearlessness of its free thinking people.
Source: A forwarded email from a friend of mine
Respect my authority! 10 ways to lose the respect of your team
Sometimes the best way to eliminate bad habits in leadership is to see them parodied. So in that spirit, here are the ten quickest ways to ensure your team are demotivated and your leadership is always in question:
1. Always over react, rather than not react
So something has gone wrong and you’re not sure who’s to blame. The best response is a knee jerk reaction: take it out on all the people involved. It’s better to make it clear that you’re not happy rather than wasting time cooling off and allowing yourself to think rationally.
2. Claim credit for anything that goes well
Surely, if a success takes place under your leadership, then it’s down to that leadership and therefore you have the right to take credit for it. Why allow your team to take the glory just because it was ‘their idea’ to make something happen?
3. Punish in public. Praise in private
“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear” said H. P. Lovecraft. Capitalise on your criticism by making it a full blown public humiliation. If everyone knows the terrible consequences of making a mistake, they won’t make any, right? You’d hate to give praise in public – it may go to someone’s head.
4. Make your team work the same hours you do
Team members need to prove their commitment. After 12 months of sixteen hour days, you can be sure that they have no social life and no meaning to life apart from work. Perfect – you’ll have their total loyalty and undivided attention then.
5. Don’t let reality get in the way of a good idea
When Fred Goodwin was making the disastrous decision to acquire ABN-Amro for RBS, he famously told his board “We’ve done this before, so only need a ‘due diligence-light’ on this deal.” You don’t get to be a leader without learning to trust your intuition, so why waste time doing your homework?
6. Make promises you aren’t planning to keep
Motivate your team by promising them the world. There will be a temporary boost to productivity, and when those expensive rewards come within reach, just move the goalposts. You’re busy – you can’t be expected to be held to everything you say.
7. Never admit mistakes or show weakness
A good leader should avoid losing face in front of her team at all costs. That means burying mistakes and never discussing your weaknesses openly. If all else fails and you’re forced to admit defeat, then blame someone else – you’d hate to lose respect or credibility.
8. Assume your competitors are stupid
It’s very important to be proud of your company and mentally exclude any possibility that someone else might be doing things better. The leaders of Research in Motion just knew that keyboards were better than touch screens. And all those loyal Blackberry users are a testimony to how right they were.
9. Get the deal, worry about the consequences later
In business, you should live for the moment and take the money whilst it’s on the table. ‘Operations’ can worry about delivering later. All that stuff about the lifetime value of a customer and long term partnerships is just marketing puff anyway.
10. Assume you can do any job better than a member of your team
Your input is the most important. That means you should feel confident in steamrollering over the hard, time-consuming work of your team. Most importantly, be wary of hiring anyone who might outdo you in future. You’d hate to be shown up.
For the lucky few, doing what you love does bring in the money, but the hard fact is that only too often the things we love doing are not the things that are financially rewarded in our materialistic world. Artists, musicians, inventors – all sorts of people with enormous creative talent – can spend years struggling to see any reward for their efforts, and maybe it never happens at all. Not everyone manages to turn a dream into an unimaginable fortune at the age of twenty-five.
And the rest of us? We put our dreams aside. We need a regular income to support our families or to maintain the standard of living we’ve come to expect. What we really love doing becomes a “hobby”, or “something we’d like to do one day”. But at what price? Should we really ignore the fact that deep down we’re longing to do something else with our lives? And isn’t there a way we can combine what we really love doing with the work we have to do to pay the bills?
What are your options?
No one can see into the future and be absolutely sure whether they can turn what they love doing into a financial success. Of course, there are risks; maybe making a career out of what you love will make it too much like normal employment, so all the fun goes out of it. Or maybe you’ll find that once you start, you’re actually not very good at it – or that no one wants to invest in it. But if you don’t try, you’ll never know.
Option 1: Do it – now
Give up your job and do what you love, by all means – but be aware that this is a huge risk and that you’ll probably be doing what you love at the expense of the people you love. That’s why it’s a lot easier to follow your dream when you’re very young and don’t have any responsibilities or dependents. So should you go ahead when you have more to lose? The answer is: it’s a hard world, and you should only give everything up to take the plunge if you can truly afford to fail without hurting yourself or other people.
Option 2: Wait
Another option is to wait until you can “really afford” to give up your job. But the danger here is that you won’t ever take the first step because you’re afraid of losing what you have (which tends to increase with each year that passes). And that is likely to lead to feelings of frustration, as the years pass and your dream remains just a dream.
Option 3: Start slowly
The most financially secure person is the one with several different income streams. So keep all your options open: start now, and do it in stages. This way, you don’t need to choose between your dream and your job – you can do both, fitting your dream into your daily life. Don’t think about what might happen or try to see into the future – just take the first step towards making it happen. You’ll be able to test the waters and see if there’s a market for your idea, without taking any huge risks. Give it six months and then assess your progress. And you never know: you might even end up bringing in enough money to eventually devote all your time to your venture.
And before you start, remember our three useful tips:
1. Make a road map
Make yourself a plan of action and define clear, realistic goals. Don’t be over ambitious! Small goals are much better than impressive-sounding large ones. Break the goals down into achievable steps, and check your progress regularly (for example, each week). As time passes, you’ll have a much clearer picture of whether or not your idea could really turn into something that generates a regular income. And if it’s not working, recognise that it’s time to quit, before you invest too much time and energy into it.
2. Work hard
It’s what you love doing, but your dream job is still a job and you must be prepared to work hard to make it successful. Whether you’re doing it full time or just in the evenings or at weekends, stick to regular hours when you can focus on just your idea and nothing else. Don’t try to do it when you’re at your normal job: it will distract you and could lead to real problems with your employer, particularly if you try to use office equipment or office space for your own purposes.
3. Love what you do
If the market for your idea is saturated, or if you’re not confident that you can earn enough doing what you love, then maybe you can start to love what you already do. Try to identify which element of your job you like best, and then explore ways that could allow you to do more of it. Maybe you can do a training course, or take on new responsibilities which give you the scope to explore your creativity. Find colleagues who share your interests and talk to your manager – they may be more receptive than you think to your initiative.
Whatever you do, enjoy it – that’s the key to a happy, fulfilled life. So keep your work–life balance healthy, and check it from time to time, just to make sure you’re still on the path you want to be on. And if you have a dream? Well, as we’ve said, if you don’t start, you’ll never know – and your dream will remain just that, and no more.
“And what are we doing tomorrow?” I asked my uncle.
“Let’s catch some monkeys,” he said.
“Monkeys?” I asked excitedly.
“Yes,” my uncle said and smiled,” And if you catch one you can take him home as a pet.”
“A monkey! As a pet?” I asked in astonishment.
“Why not?” my uncle said.
“But monkeys? Aren’t they dangerous?” I asked.
“The monkeys here are quite small and very cute. And once you train them, they become very friendly and obedient – ideal pets.”
And so, next morning, at the crack of dawn we sailed off from Haddo Wharf in Port Blair in a large motorboat. Soon we were crossing the Duncan Passage, moving due south; the densely forested Little Andaman Island to our right, the sea calm like a mirror.
I began to feel seasick, so I stood on the foc’sle deck, right at the front end sea-sick, enjoying the refreshing sea-spray, occasionally tasting my salty lips.
I looked in admiration, almost in awe, at uncle who stood rock-steady on the bridge, truly a majestic figure. He signaled to me and I rushed up to the bridge.
“Vijay, it’s time to prepare the Monkey Traps,” he said.
“Monkey-Traps?” I asked confused.
“Tito will show you,” he said. “You must learn to make them yourself.”
Tito, my uncle’s odd-job-man, was sitting on the deck, seaman’s knife in hand, amidst a heap of green coconuts. He punctured a coconut, put it to his lips, drank the coconut water, and then began scooping out a small hollow. I took out my seaman’s knife and joined in enthusiastically with the other coconuts. The coconut water tasted sweet.
“Keep the hole small,” my uncle shouted over my shoulder, “and hollow the coconut well.”
“But how will we catch monkeys with this?” I asked.
“You will see in the evening,” he said. “Now get on with the job.”
We reached a densely forested island at five in the evening.
It was almost dark. The sun sets early in these eastern longitudes.
And soon we set up our monkey-traps.
Each hollowed-out coconut was filled with a mixture of boiled rice and jaggery (gur) through the small hole. Then the coconut was chained to a stake, which was driven firmly into the ground.
And then we hid in the bushes in pin-drop silence.
Suddenly there was rattling sound. My uncle switched on his torch.
A monkey was struggling, one hand trapped inside the coconut. In an instant, Tito threw a gunny-bag over the monkey and within minutes we had the monkey nicely secured inside.
By the time we lit the campfire on the cool soft sands of the beach, we had captured three monkeys.
My uncle put his arm around my shoulder and, “Vijay, you know why the monkey gets trapped? The monkey gets trapped because of its greed.”
He picked up a hollowed-out coconut and said, “Look at this hole. It is just big enough so that the monkey’s hand can go in, but too small for full fist filled with rice to come out. Because his greed won’t allow him to let go of the rice and take out his hand, the monkey remains trapped, a victim of his own greed, until he is captured; forever a captive of his greed.”
“The monkey cannot see that freedom without rice is more valuable that capture with it!” he said.
My uncle looked at Tito and commanded: “Free the monkeys.”
And, one by one, the monkeys jumped out of their gunny bags and started running, with one hand still stuck in a coconut. It was a really funny sight.
“There is a lesson for us to learn from this,” my uncle said. “That’s why I brought you here to show you all this.”
I looked at my uncle. His name was Ranjit Singh. And true to his name he was indeed a magnificent man! Over six feet tall, well-built, redoubtable; a truly striking personality! He stood erect in his khaki uniform, stroking his handsome beard with his left hand, his right hand gripping a swagger stick, which he gently tapped on his thigh.
As he surveyed the scenic surroundings – the moonlight sea, the swaying Causarina trees, the silver sands of the beach in between – he looked majestic, like a king cherishing his domain. Indeed he was like a king here – after all he was the Chief Forest Officer, in-charge of the entire islands – and this was his domain.
Uncle Ranjit was an exception in our family—the odd-man out. My father always said that he was the most intelligent of all brothers. But whereas all of them were busy achieving success and earning money in Mumbai and Delhi, uncle Ranjit had chosen to be different.
To the surprise of everybody else, uncle Ranjit had joined the Forest Service when he could have easily become an engineer, doctor or even a business executive, for he had always topped all examinations – first class first in merit, whether it be the school or the university.
“So, Vijay, you like it here?” he asked.
“It’s lovely, uncle,” I answered. “And thank you so much for the lovely holiday, spending so much time with me. In Mumbai no one has any time for me. I feel so lonely.”
“Why?” he asked, with curiosity.
“Mummy and Daddy both come late from office. Then there are parties, business dinners, and tours. And on Sundays they sleep, exhausted, unless there is a business-meeting in the club or golf with the boss.”
Uncle Ranjit laughed, “Ha. Ha. The Monkey Trap. They are all caught in monkey traps of their own making. Slaves of their greed! Trapped by their desires,caught in the rat race, wallowing in their golden cages, rattling their jewellery, their golden chains – monkey-trapped, all of them, isn’t it?”
As I thought over Ranjit uncle’s words I realized how right he was. Most of the people I knew in Mumbai were just like that – trapped by their greed, chasing rainbows, in search of an ever elusive happiness.
“Happiness is to like what you do as well as to do what you like,” uncle Ranjit said, as if he were reading my thoughts. “Happiness is not a station which never arrives, but the manner you travel in life.”
He paused, and asked me, “Tell me Vijay, tell me, what do you want to do in life?”
“I don’t know.”
“Come on, Vijay. You are fifteen now. By next year you have to decide, tell me what your plans are.”
“It depends on my percentage,” I said truthfully.
“I am sure you will get around ninety percent marks in your board exams,” he said. “Assume you top the exams. Secure a place in the merit list. Then what will you do?”
“I’ll go in for Engineering. Computers, Software, IT,” I said.
“Computers? Software? IT? Why? Why not something more interesting – like Arts, Literature, Philosophy, History, Humanities?” he asked.
“Job prospects,” I answered.
“Oh!” He exclaimed. “And then?”
“Management…an MBA… Or I may even go abroad for higher studies.”
“And why do you want so many qualifications?”
“To get the best job,” I answered.
“And earn a lot of money?” uncle Ranjit prompted.
“Of course,” I said. “I want to earn plenty of money so that I can enjoy life.”
Uncle Ranjit laughed, “My dear Vijay. Aren’t you enjoying life right now, at this very moment? What about me? Am I am not enjoying life? Remember – if you do not find happiness as you are, where you are, you will never find it.”
He smiled and asked me,” Vijay, you know what Maxim Gorky once said…?
“When work is a pleasure, life is a joy. When work is a duty, life is slavery”
“Slavery!” I exclaimed, understanding the message he was trying to give me.
“Slavery to one’s elusive material desires, one’s greed, slavery to the rat race, chasing rainbows. And then live a life perpetually trapped in a Monkey Trap of your own making.”
“The Monkey Trap!” we both said in unison, in chorus.
It was the defining moment in my life – my Minerva Moment…!
And so, I decided that I will choose a career I loved, do something I liked, and experience an inner freedom.
And guess what I am today?
Well, I am a teacher. I teach philosophy.
And let me tell you I enjoy every moment of it. It’s a life of sheer joy and delight – being with my students, their respect and adulation, my innate quest for knowledge and a sense of achievement that I am contributing my bit to society.
I shall never forget uncle Ranjit and that crucial visit to the forests of the Andamans, the turning point, or indeed the defining moment, of my life.
Life Lessons: The Burnt Biscuit
When I was a kid, I remember my Mom liked to cook food every now and then. I remember one night in particular when she had made dinner after a long, hard day at work.
On that evening, my Mom placed a plate of bread, jams and extremely burned biscuits in front of my Dad. I remember waiting to see if anyone noticed! Yet all my Dad did was reach for his biscuit, smile at my Mom and asked me how my day was at school.
I don’t remember what I told him that night, but I do remember hearing my Mom apologize to my Dad for burning the biscuits. I’ll never forget what he said: “Honey, I love burned biscuits.”Later that night, I went to kiss Daddy and say Good Night and I asked him if he really liked his biscuits burned.
He wrapped me in his arms and said, “Your Momma put in a long hard day at work today and she’s real tired. And besides…. a burnt biscuit never hurt anyone but harsh words do! “You know, life is full of imperfect things… and imperfect people. I’m not the best at hardly anything, and I forget birthdays and anniversaries just like everyone else.
What I’ve learned over the years is that learning to accept each others’ faults and choosing to celebrate each other’s differences is one of the most important keys to creating a healthy, growing, and lasting relationship.
PS: QUITE A FEW OF US MIGHT RELATE OURSELVES TO THIS STORY, MAY BE IN DIFFERENT CIRCUMSTANCES.
Life is too short to wake up with regrets… Love the people who treat you right and have compassion for the ones who don’t.
ENJOY LIFE NOW – IT HAS AN EXPIRY DATE!
Bouncing Back Quickly to Win
You’ve probably never heard of him. However, in Hungary, he’s a national hero – everybody there knows his name and his incredible story. After reading his story, you’ll never forget him…
In 1938, Karoly Takacs of the Hungarian Army was the top pistol shooter in the world. He was expected to win the gold in the 1940 Olympic Games scheduled for Tokyo.
Those expectations vanished one terrible day just months before the Olympics. While training with his army squad, a hand grenade exploded in Takacs’ right hand, and Takacs’ shooting hand was blown off.
Takacs spent a month in the hospital depressed at both the loss of his hand, and the end to his Olympic dream. At that point most people would have quit. And they would have probably spent the rest of their life feeling sorry for themselves. Most people would have quit but not Takacs. Takacs was a winner. Winners know that they can’t let circumstances keep them down. They understand that life is hard and that they can’t let life beat them down. Winners know in their heart that quitting is not an option.
Takacs did the unthinkable; he picked himself up, dusted himself off, and decided to learn how to shoot with his left hand! His reasoning was simple. He simply asked himself, “Why not?”
Instead of focusing on what he didn’t have – a world class right shooting hand, he decided to focus on what he did have – incredible mental toughness, and a healthy left hand that with time, could be developed to shoot like a champion.
For months Takacs practiced by himself. No one knew what he was doing. Maybe he didn’t want to subject himself to people who most certainly would have discouraged him from his rekindled dream.
In the spring of 1939 he showed up at the Hungarian National Pistol Shooting Championship. Other shooters approached Takacs to give him their condolences and to congratulate him on having the strength to come watch them shoot. They were surprised when he said, “I didn’t come to watch, I came to compete.” They were even more surprised when Takacs won!
The 1940 and 1944 Olympics were cancelled because of World War II. It looked like Takacs’ Olympic Dream would never have a chance to realize itself. But Takacs kept training and in 1944 he qualified for the London Olympics. At the age of 38, Takacs won the Gold Medal and set a new world record in pistol shooting. Four years later, Takacs won the Gold Medal again at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics. Takacs – a man with the mental toughness to bounce back from anything.
Winners in every field have a special trait that helps them become unstoppable. A special characteristic that allows them to survive major setbacks on the road to success. Winners recover QUICKLY. Bouncing back is not enough. Winners bounce back QUICKLY. They take their hit, they experience their setback, they have the wind taken out of their sails, but they immediately recover. Right away they FORCE themselves to look at the bright side of things – ANY bright side, and they say to themselves, “That’s OK. There is always a way. I will find a way.” They dust themselves off, and pick up where they left off.
The reason quick recovery is important is that if you recover quickly, you don’t lose your momentum and your drive. Takacs recovered in only one month. If he had wallowed in his misery, if he had stayed “under the circumstances,” if he had played the martyr, and felt sorry for himself much longer, he would have lost his mental edge – his “eye of the tiger” and he never would have been able to come back.
When a boxer gets knocked down, he has ten seconds to get back up. If he gets up in eleven seconds, he loses the fight. Remember that next time you get knocked down.
Takacs definitely had a right to feel sorry for himself. He had a right to stay depressed and to ask himself “Why me?” for the rest of his life. He had the right to act like a mediocre man.
Takacs could have let his terrible accident cause him to become permanently discouraged, to take up heavy drinking, to quit on life all together, and maybe even to end his own life. He could have acted like a loser.
But Takacs made the DECISION to dig deep inside and to find a solution. To pick himself up and to learn to shoot all over again. Winners always search for a solution. Losers always search for an escape.
Next time you get knocked down, DECIDE you will act like a winner. DECIDE to act like Takacs. Get up quickly, take action, and astound the world!
Learning from the story :
“Next time you get knocked down, DECIDE you will act like a winner. Get up quickly, take action, and astound the world!”
Response Vs Reaction
At a restaurant, a cockroach suddenly flew from somewhere and sat on a lady. She started screaming out of fear. With a panic stricken face and trembling voice, she started jumping, with both her hands desperately trying to get rid of the cockroach. Her reaction was contagious, as everyone in her group also got panicky.
The lady finally managed to push the cockroach away but …it landed on another lady in the group. Now, it was the turn of the other lady in the group to continue the drama. The waiter rushed forward to their rescue. In the relay of throwing, the cockroach next fell upon the waiter.
The waiter stood firm, composed himself and observed the behavior of the cockroach on his shirt. When he was confident enough, he grabbed it with his fingers and threw it out of the restaurant. Sipping my coffee and watching the amusement, the antenna of my mind picked up a few thoughts and started wondering, was the cockroach responsible for their histrionic behavior? If so, then why was the waiter not disturbed? He handled it near to perfection, without any chaos.
It is not the cockroach, but the inability of the ladies to handle the disturbance caused by the cockroach that disturbed the ladies.
I realized that, it is not the shouting of my father or my boss or my wife that disturbs me, but its my inability to handle the disturbances caused by their shouting that disturbs me. Its not the traffic jams on the road that disturbs me, but my inability to handle the disturbance caused by the traffic jam that disturbs me.
More than the problem, it’s my reaction to the problem that creates chaos in my life.
Lessons learnt from the story:
I understood, I should not react in life.
I should always respond.
The women reacted, whereas the waiter responded.
Reactions are always instinctive whereas responses are always well thought of, just and right to save a situation from going out of hands, to avoid cracks in relationship, to avoid taking decisions in anger, anxiety, stress or hurry.