Friday, December 30, 2005

Happy New Year

Monday, December 26, 2005

Life goes on......

Monday, December 19, 2005

Exemplary Mortals

Time magazine in its latest issue has names Bono, Bill and Melinda gates as the persons of the year.

It’s really pleasing to see non political figures coming as the names which have been able to make difference to the lives of common man. What makes these names all the more special is the fact that they did not strive to become and achieve for which they have been named as the person of the year.

Another thing which is common amongst all great legends is the desire and dream to achieve much more than what other expects them to do and what they themselves set to achieve.

They rise above the normal and do things which can change our lives. Perhaps the greatest thing which makes them special as people of excellence is that they never stop of achieving the very best and continue to achieve more despite reaching great heights.

Bill has been drawing great criticism for his ruthless approach to monopolize software market and earn super normal profit by stifling competition. But still one must admire this man for his creativity, aspirations and a strong conviction to bring about change in the lives of ordinary people.

He still has the enthusiasm of a 15 year old school kind whenever you talk about technology or any other realted software stuff with him. His wife has been leading the world’s largest private NGO; the Seattle-based foundation has an endowment of approximately $28.8 billion.Here’s what they had to say after being given the honour.

We’re honored to have been named, together with our friend Bono, as Time Magazine’s Persons of the Year.

“We’re grateful that Time recognizes the importance of the world's inequities, whether they are in the United States or thousands of miles away. We are also pleased by Time's recognition that we can solve these problems and that many people must play a part in doing so.

Bono (Born as :Paul Hewson)the most famous Irish name, on the other hand started his musical career in 1976 and went on to receive world wide accolades for the great work of art.

He has repeatedly flogged himself in the press for not being a proper "pop star" and has continually expressed a desire to become a great singer. Yet his powerful voice has evolved and morphed over the years with a versatility rarely heard in most rock bands: at the start of the decade, it was a teenage croon full of longing and rebellion on such 80's albums as "Boy" and "War"; near the end, it was a throaty roar full of anger and passion on "The Unforgettable Fire," "The Joshua Tree," and "Rattle and Hum."

Though he is known as a socially-conscious songwriter who has tried to inspire crowds with his lyrics, Bono is a rarity in that he also tries to connect with them physically during a performance. The best example of this was seen by millions during the 1980's...especially the Live Aid concert in 1985, when (mid-way through an epic rendition of "Bad") he leapt off the stage, over a security barricade to the floor of the arena, and pulled a woman from the crowd to dance with her.

In the 90's, when U2's political earnestness ultimately threatened to turn them into a caricature (due mostly to Bono's often politically-charged, on-stage sermonizing), the band vanished into Berlin, Germany to remake itself with a new sound.

Beyond U2, Bono has extended himself to other projects and causes, and has emerged over the years to be both a social animal and an activist...and has rallied numerous actors, artists and activists to his cause...

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Times they are changing

At times I often look back at see how my passion for things in life has undergone a sea change. When I look back at some of the major events in my life I suddenly realize they are not as important as they may appear at times. I guess it’s a process of learning or rather growing which we tend to acclimatize with and adjust.

Change is often an unconscious process sometimes if you try and make it happen it never works, at least I have seen it in my case. It really thrills me when I try and analyze the different perspective different cultures have towards life changes. Geert Hofstede Model of Culture has a wonderful note on this

“Every person carries within him or herself patterns of thinking; feeling; and potential acting which were learned throughout their lifetime. Much of it has been acquired in early childhood, because at that time a person is most susceptible to learning and assimilating.

As soon as certain patterns of thinking; feeling and acting have established themselves within a person’s mind; (s)he must unlearn these before being able to learn something different; and unlearning is more difficult than learning for the first time.”

“Culture is always a collective phenomenon, because it is at least partly shared with people who live or lived within the same social environment, which is where it was learned. It is the collective programming of the mind which distinguishes the members of one group or category of people from another.”

If we analyze the eastern philosophy and western concept of change the contrast is quite interesting. The eastern approach is based on Karma and Destiny of previous and present lives while the western approach is more methodical and they see change as a conscious effort. But I guess as a young chap you must have felt that change can be brought about with action and that’s also true to some extent however as times changes and you put more weight and your hairline’s recede the whole approach goes for a gradual shift.

But On a different note I think few things in life only get better with time and become all the more special as you enrich yourselves with the various interpretations and one of them is my favorite Bob Dylan song written in 1963.

Come gather 'round people Wherever you roam'
And admit that the waters Around you have grown
And accept it that soon You'll be drenched to the bone.
If your time to you Is worth savin'Then you better startswimmin'
Or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come writers and critics Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide The chance won't come again
And don't speak too soon For the wheel's still in spin
And there's no tellin' who That it's namin'.
For the loser now Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come senators, congressmen Please heed the call
Don't stand in the doorway Don't block up the hall
For he that gets hurt Will be he who has stalled
There's a battle outside And it is ragin'.
It'll soon shake your windows And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come mothers and fathers Throughout the land
And don't criticize What you can't understand
Your sons and your daughters Are beyond your command
Your old road is Rapidly agin'.
Please get out of the new one If you can't lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin'.

The line it is drawn The curse it is cast
The slow one now Will later be fast
As the present now Will later be past
The order is Rapidly fadin'.
And the first one now will later be last
For the times they are a-changin'.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Globalization:Random thoughts

Here's a humorous although thought provoking definition of Globalization.

I am sure you'll be left with few words by the end of it.

Question: What is the truest definition of Globalization? Answer: Princess Diana's death. Question: How come?
Answer: An English princess with an Egyptian boyfriend crashes in a French tunnel,
driving a German car with a Dutch engine,
driven by a Belgian who was drunk on Scottish whisky, (check the bottle before you change the spelling)
followed closely by Italian Paparazzi,
on Japanese motorcycles;
treated by an American doctor, using Brazilian medicines.

This is posted by an Indian, using Bill Gate's technology (an American), and you're probably reading this on your computer,
that use Taiwanese chips,
and a Korean monitor, assembled by Bangladeshi workers in a Singapore plant, transported by Indian lorry-drivers,
hijacked by Indonesians, unloaded by Sicilian longshoremen,
and trucked to you by Mexican illegals.....

That, my friends, is Globalization.

Well this thought reminded me of Adam Smith's good old "division of labour" concept and I'm sure he would be proud of this idea of globalisation.Poor Chap, he wouldn't have ever thought in his wildest imagination that actually his ideas would really trickle down to this level.

Monday, December 12, 2005

The End of Innocence

It seems that Electronic Media is going berserk with the "secret camera revelation”. Almost each news channel is trying hard to make its presence felt on the idiot box by coming up with some or other visual titillations to make us sit back and stop pressing the channels button. With almost 20 channels running round the clock, each one is jostling hard to catch viewers eyeball.

The competition has lead to some not so pleasant events which comes more as a shocking revelation to Indian viewers who have been happy watching DD’s good old sarkari views for ages. In the early 90’s the media focused more Political infighting and corruption at lower level, then came Tehelka episode and it changed the definition of journalism and added a new buzz word to the lexicon of Indian journalism called “ sting operation”.

Indian Media was never the same, the good old Khadar Dhari ,Jhola types, gave way to suave ,technically savy, mobile and yuppy journos.The days of penury for the good old Jhola types was gone and they represented a new face of Indian journalism.

The viewers thought they were having a ball since they were being pampered to the great extent. Public figures who were considered sacrosanct till date were now being reduced to rubble by media with one shot .Media spared no one the high and mighty politician, film stars, power brokers, cricketers, senior officials ,babus ,judges,army officers ,police and even academicians. The age old shibboleth was broken and the lakshman rekha was crossed.

The best part was that some good old media folks were also enraged with the new breed of journalists; they felt that the symbiotic relation which has been fostering between media and power groups for ages has been broken with this spate of sting journalism. This was a new world in which nobody trusted nobody, and as a consequent the internecine battle for eyeballs continues and the holy institutions of Indian social life has been reduced to a nautanki.

Perhaps the worst fallout of these events is the fact that the new generation will become all the more cynical to the existing institutions. What took ages to build being reduced to mere sensational clips? I guess all this is no excuse for exposing the truth because many feels that we must know the truth, however the truth comes at a big cost which I’m sure everyone realizes.

The fact that every exposure brings more cynicism and erosion of faith in public figures mean that we need new role models ,new champions and new leadership which espouses the virtues of high moral and ethical based practices.

We must not overlook the fact that these incidents leads to generalization of common’s man perception about the public figures, so if you have seen one of the cricketer taking bribe then every time a wicket fall you’ll find people questioning the credibility of the individual. The worst part is that its not that only failures will be put to question even success will be treated with skepticism.

I guess the situation is here to stay and probably it would mean we have to find answer to some greater questions which incidents like these leaves unanswered? How and where do you draw the line????

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Remembering John Lennon

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Moments of Realisation

Another picture story without words ....Sometimes your imagination works best when you allow your thoughts to wonder .Infact it works best if you dont use words to create the story.The truth of reality and perception dawns upon you.One feels stoic at this new discovery but nevertheless its a great discovery and realisation of our power of imagination and intrepretation.
I guess it also leads to a journey of introspection and change of point of reference of one's own imagination.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Mr. Tambourine Man

One of the greatest all time Musical legend, singer, songwriter, poet and a great philosopher of modern time Bob Dylan has inspired generations of musicians. He has a world wide fan following which cuts across all age group .Born as Robert Allen Zimmerman, on May 24, 1941, in Duluth, Minnesota Dylan was greatly influenced by the music of Elvis, Little Richards and Jerry lee Lewis. While performing some country and folk music at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, he was named “Bob Dylan,” after the late Welsh poet Dylan Thomas.

Later he dropped out of college and went to New York and then started his sojourn of great musical works and went on to become one of the most celebrated Musicians of all times. The Times They Are A-Changin’, firmly established Dylan as the definitive songwriter of the ‘60s protest movement, a reputation that only increased after he became involved with one of the movement’s established icons, Joan Baez, in 1963. While his romantic relationship with Baez lasted only two years, it benefited both immensely in terms of their music careers, as Dylan wrote some of Baez’s best-known material and Baez introduced him to thousands of fans in her concerts.

By 1964, Dylan was playing 200 concerts annually, but had become tired of his role as “the” folk singer-songwriter of the protest movement. Another Side of Bob Dylan, recorded in 1964, was a much more personal, introspective collection of songs, far less political in its messages. With his unmistakable voice and unforgettable lyrics, Dylan brought the worlds of music and literature together as no one else had.

In 1989, when Dylan was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Bruce Springsteen spoke at the ceremony, declaring that “Bob freed the mind the way Elvis freed the body….He invented a new way a pop singer could sound, broke through the limitations of what a recording artist could achieve, and changed the face of rock and roll forever.

To read more about the legend click here.