Thursday, October 6

American Spring?

Can we ever get an American Spring rise? Or will it be rooted out with pepper sprays in the bud?


They asked me to spend from my future. I did.
All my future is now in the banks.
They made scrolls out of it, cut them into derivatives and sold them.
My life is not with me anymore.

Now they call recession if I dont spend anymore.
And I will lose my job if I dont keep spending!
What do I spend? Where is my money?
I sold my next 15 yrs salary already and lost even todays.

Let us get the rich get richer start spending
If they dont have enough to spend, lets tax them
Tax on the savings, not on the income, so they have the fair chance of spending
If it is socialism, why not socialism?

Thursday, September 9

Fires of Fury

The stone age man ignited it
The modern man abused it

The wildfires created havoc
As the nature engaged in honor killing
And we stood still, helpless

The guns and bombs poured them
Had men and towns wiped off
And we proudly marked Victory day

Let us re-learn from the cavemen
On how the fire can help us
Lending us some light to tread
In the drakness we are; awash with light
In the jungles we are; and fail to see

Tuesday, March 30

Finance lessons

Economy - The most stable definition is the cattle class seats that the airliners offer commemorating the wagon tragedy. Do not expect this to change in the near future as bigger and wider planes become available. Because people flying this class are "peasants, so they won't appreciate it. And if the airlines made economy more comfortable, people wouldn't pay for premium"

Economic Growth - How people were gotten into the illusion of growth and prosperity. And in some parts of the world, something to avoid in future. Like the French high school text book Histoire du XXe siècle, that teaches "Economic growth imposes a hectic form of life, producing overwork, stress, nervous depression, cardiovascular disease and, according to some, even the development of cancer," What is needed is "an awareness of the limits to growth and the risks posed to humanity [by economic growth]"

Stock Market - A religion invented in the 20th century (and many people follow this religion across the globe even today) that offers people heaven they can dream in this life itself. The followers are encouraged to invest and create wealth (in stock market terms). The priests of this religion (called CEO, iCEO, CXO etc.) get to amass a lot of physical wealth using these small investments from the public and have full authority on the money thanks to the divided investor demography. 

Insider Trading - The theory goes that people who knows the inside actions of the company should not be allowed to trade their stocks. That protects the ill-informed public from being at disadvantage. It can also be read that you are only allowed to play dice with your stocks. Why am I not allowed to sell my shares if I know the company is going under water? Or why not better limit the number of investors and respect their right of all information? Is Insider Trading really to be blamed?

Friday, March 19

The week that is

"I don't want my tax dollars to be used for a federal funded abortion" Thats a strong reason for many to oppose the health care bill. The bill does not explicitly state that there will be no federal funding for elective abortions. Americans are so strong in faith and do not want to anything that goes against their faith. But do they have good view on where their tax is spent? All the money spent on war - does that align with their faith? A few thousand lives versus a potential threat? Taken. Now an abortion versus a hundred lives?

I am amazed by the depth of the American constitution. The patent rights is part of the constitution. I can fully understand that the constitution written by colonists will have the monopolist patent rights. Any "discoveries" will be protected. But in 200 years I cannot understand the constitution can ignore the responsibility of the nation to get these great discoveries at least in health care to be accessible to all the people. If not a common welfare what is the purpose of a nation?

Try the word socialism. Thats the strongest explosive in the US. It can kill any good ideas. Any thoughts. Socialism - no way. We do not want socialism. I am not sure how many of these people understand what this means though. I always believed democracy can work only if people are educated and are aware of what is being discussed. And I thought US is a great democracy. But its sadly no different. People get carried away just by some terms. Like the word "bourgeoisie" being used by the communists.

Someone has found out the Bible is more violent than the Qur'an. What is violence by the way? I don't see any holy book asking people to be violent. The Qur'an is very clearly against violence of any sorts. The only time war is allowed is when you are being attacked. And that too is to be within a set of limits that safeguard women, children, churches, synagogues, public utilities etc. Do suicide bombs take root in Islam or in LTTE? Who funded the LTTE? Why is west and Islam compared? One is a region and the other a religion. Why not west vs middle east. Or US vs Afghanistan.

Monday, March 8

Wither Japan?

Akio Toyoda was at the Capitol answering the "quality conscious" US congress. He apologized for the quality issues that are plaguing Toyota cars past few months. Beyond all the recalls and money involved, this does not seem to end....

The very next week I was flying to Tokyo. At Narita station, waiting for Narita Express there was this delay announcement. N'EX is 10 minutes delayed as the incoming train is delayed. Apology. Taihan omatase itashimashita....

One evening I went to a cafe close to Shinjuku Sta. No Japanese faces in the crew. All foreigner staff. One of them drops a plate with a loud noise. Others just smile....

The next day my colleague makes it giri giri for a customer meeting. Yamanote sen sotomawari was stopped due to technical issues. Yamanote line and Chuo line delays are no longer a news now. 

Is the focus on quality and customer withering away in Japanese society? While the DPJ government has promised to question every legacy bureaucracy in Japan, is someone questioning the too-much-customer-concern too? Is the Japan of yester years being a thing of past?

The JAL lounge had no signs of wear and tear. And no way does it expose the bankruptcy JAL is in today. When I got back into American Airlines and was wondering about the losing grip of okyakusan in Japan, quality gets a revisit. The flight will be delayed by 30 min. There is a long line for the runway and we are the eleventh. No apologies though. Granted.

I still thanked the JAL lounge and the great food it served as AA skipped the normal juice-snacks and went directly for dinner with a sweet query - "Do you want anything for dinner tonight ?"


Thursday, February 18

Blogs are better

I have been away from blogging for a long time. I dont know if I am really back too. Things change. People change. Technology change. Slangs change. Who am I to resist these.

I have been through Orkut. Boring. Scraps. What do you mean? Non sense. Why not mail?

Facebook is neater. It does allow kind of blogging too. Microblogging. 

But its too distracting. People want to say they did brush, they had breakfast etc there. People talking just because they have to say something. And what I hate is it shouting at me Joe and Tom are friends. Why do I care?

But I am still on facebook. Because there are still people who have something to say. And it allows subscriptions. Much better to manage than Google Reader. But much less contents.

Twitter. I still do not get or agree why tweet. At a game, agree. At an event, agree. Best way to send out running commentaries. But why like "Me wlking to offce".

I remember the old man near our college. He used to sit on the roadside with a notebook, he will be jotting down all the time and sometimes talking loud too. He was insane. So we said. If I do a fast forward by 20 years, he will be there today, the same ragged cloths, but on a laptop logged on to a twitter account - and he would have had a 1000 followers and would have been famous on the cyber world. An amazing tweeter he could have been.

Secrets used to have a sanctity. Private matters used to have a meaning. Pictures in bound albums used to have excitement. Like the first day in an arranged marriage. Like the long waited first kiss. We killed all that.

Bloggers - I love you. Do some serious writing. Do not get carried away by the attention seekers.

Tuesday, January 26

Salut to the Republic

Salut to the Republic
As it turns sixty today
and is just warming up

You still can see tears in the yarn
But cannot miss how complex is the fabric
Cannot but appreciate the colours it presents
How the warp and weft keeps it strong

You still can see potholes on the road
But cannot miss the reaches of the path
The amount of people it carries
And the way it connects the souls

Agree that we have a lot of roadblocks, still
Amazing is the progress we've had
The sons and daughters who flew the flag higher
Who brought the pride back to the land

The Indian dream is not a tagline today
But it is a fact we can be proud of
The land which has premiers in all fields
Of all casts and colours; men and women

Salut to the nation
As it breathes the sixtieth year
We've just started the journey
And have miles to go before we sleep

Friday, November 27

Thanksgiving Eid

I am thankful to my kids who are forced to sacrifice many of their passions and still put up the lovely smiles on their faces. And for adjusting to my unpredictable responses.

I am thankful to my wife for sacrificing what was dear to her in return of an unknown person who stepped into her life. And for tolerating all my eccentricities.

I am thankful to my parents who sacrificed comfy life to focus on bringing us kids up with the best education they could afford. And for all the prayers that would return results only on me.

I am thankful to the great Lord who accepts all sacrifices and always guided on priority calls. Not just today, but everyday.

A happy thanksgiving Eid to all! America is commemorating a great thanksgiving while world Muslims are commemorating a great sacrifice that occurred thousands of years ago.

Friday, August 14

Time Shop

"Can you give me a second?"

I am on my way to Seattle and at Starbucks at DFW airport for my Green Tea Latte. As I placed order and stepped back, this lady behind me comes up and says "Can you give me a second". Bluetooth has made it impossible to make out whom someone is talking to.

But people coming to a shop to buy a second is not a wierd idea.

Buy time? Exactly. The idea was that you have all 24 hours in a day and its just that you use it accordingly. But even before you had any idea about time, all the 24 hours were used up. You started squeezing in more and more tasks and it has reached a point where you cannot do anything more. We all had 24 hrs to spend on life. And so was life filling up all the 24 hours. When we started working we squeezed in another 8 hours for work. Then came wife. Then kids - one, two and three in my case. We thought we squeezed in share for all of them within the 24 hours. Did we really? And now the blackberry is perfectly overlaying the entire time span with its email and facebook updates.

When this brother complained about being a new employee and a new father, having difficulty in being energetic to play with his baby as he gets back home - I was really shocked. He is succesful. He identified this as a problem. I too had the same situation. Coming back from office, I wanted to lay back. Stay at home. Cup of tea. Rest. In reality, blackberrying. And I thought this is what it is. I never found this as a problem.

Someone said it is about buying time. Time does not exist for you. Before you knew, it was used up. You buy time spending something else. So as your personal life grows and your shareholders grow, you have to buy more time. You have to expense something. Someone calls it priority. Real time is the product of priority and time span. If my priority of talking with you is the same for you, we can spend exactly the same amount of time talking to each other. For kids, talking to dad is probably very high priority. Unless you set the same priority you are not going to satisfy him.

Setting off to Milwaukee, I had so many office priorities to do when I come back. Coming back, I had one task above all others. And that was to set the right prioirties and set the work life balance.

"Can you give me one second?" - at least my kids should not be asking that to me.

Tuesday, August 11

The Saint and the Sinner

This story was related by Imam Azhar Hanif during the MKA retreat

Once there was a gambler who went out for gambling every day. There was a sufi in the area who used to advice this otherwise nice person to quit gambling. But his was so addicted that he could not quit. After the game, he repents, but it carried on.

Every day when he comes back from gambling, the Sufi would have kept a stone in front of the house. That reminds him of what he did, he repents, but the next day comes the same way.

This went on for several years. The stones in front of the house became a huge pile, reminding the gambler of all the sins he accumulated. As he grew old, he was getting more and more concerned about his sins.

The day came when both Sufi and the gambler died and was waiting for resurrection. Sufi to heaven and the gambler to hell. The angel comes and first holds the gambler.

"Peace be on you, come with me. The gates of heaven are open for you"
"Me? No way. I guess you mistook my name. Thats the other man over there. The sufi"
"God's angels do not make mistakes. Its you"
"How come? Can't you see the pile of stones in front of my house? Thats the pile of the sins I did"
"That pile of stones does not count in my book. God has washed out those stones by your repenting tears"
"Holy is God. Is not the Sufi coming with us too?"
"No. He has been too arrogant with you piling stones in front of your house. He thought he is God himself"

Let not anyone tell me I am a sinner. Let me not think of anyone as a sinner. And let us all understand the mercy of God is limitless.

God Forgives...

God Forgives.. that was the theme of the just concluded MKA Youth retreat (Ijtima)

Heard it so many times. God is mercy; God is love. But what does that mean. I dont like directly equating God to a verb or noun. I think they do it just for the beauty of the statement.

Now what God Forgives mean to me. It did not click until I was there. Until I heard what I heard - people talked from their walks; words came out of their mouth but originated in their hearts.

God Forgives - is a detergent that cleans my attire.
God Forgives - a body wash for me to cleanse myself
God Forgives - a sweeper to swipe my surroundings clean
God Forgives - a shovel and strainer that helps me dig my length and breadth and separate gems and mud
God Forgives - a shield that stops the burning sunlight from damaging my skin

God Forgives is a journey that I do not want to be late to start. Its a journey thats never too late though.

Its a journey down the road less traveled. But its a journey that can be done without fail.

Its a journey where there is no looking back. At the same time its a journey where the memories can always help you keep going.

Its a journey where the black and white becomes separate. Its a journey when you touch the white it turns black again.

Its walking the talk. And talking the walk.

A journey that never ends.....

Thursday, June 25

Credit Challenges

This article from Pradeep's blog is a must read. Also read Jeff's comments on the post for educating yourself.

If someone can provide zero interest loans and ask everyone to clear their debts, people will get a fresh start. Is that but possible. At least they will need to take an admin expense

Also, todays economy means debts that you can call as assests and with compound interest make it a growing assets. And then sell them as derivatives. And insurance companies insuring these derivatives. If there is no debt, all these guys are jobless. So the cycle starts again..

ameriCa ameriCa

Obama is past 100 days. People say the honeymoon is over. But I doubt if he really had a honeymoon. He came to a hot seat and he was not sitting tight.

Anyways its interesting he is changing the C of ameriCa. From Corporate to Consumer. From Capitalism to Care for the community (shhhh.. don't call it socialism. Thats a big crime). Instead of pumping money into the rich, waiting for them to spend and revive economy, he decided to pump in money straight - into infrastructure projects.

C for commoners. He wants the common man to understand the chocolate coated dangers of credit cards. And all credits. He is attacking the revenue model and cheating ways of the credit card industry.

The next war is on health insurance. The entire American society runs on fear and insurance that protects from them from this fear. Create fear and protect. Protect you from mistakes that doctors do. Protect doctors from claims you will make. Protect you from liabilities on accidents. Create a lot of What ifs and sell them. Insurance. Saddam did not have a WMD at the end of all the search. Here is a WMD that everyone knows and no one cares to go near. Will Obama really dare to tread?

Americans on an average have a lot of medical awareness. For a headache they are told it is better to take a scan. What if there is a so and so that you miss? You are insured, go take that. Doctors are happy as they order more tests. Labs are happy. And patients are happy too. All the credit and insurance companies are happy. Who is unhappy?

What Americans need is health education. Health is not taking drugs and suppliments. Come out of the fear. There is no end for fear. East less. Eat healthy. Take less medication. Take less tests. Save money.

Tuesday, June 23



Thats what I updated on my facebook last Friday. What is on my mind now? 39

Facebook is taking a lot of my attention now. I have an Orkut account. I started that to see what is all these social networking is about. Orkut is popular with Indias. May be they are targeting the new economy BRIC? I see lot of Braizilians also there. But I dont do much Orkut these days. And thats not entertaining too if you are not active.

Facebook is different. Thanks to mobile apps, people just update their status on Facebook. And good thing is unlike scraps, these are not specific messages to anyone. This is like telling everyone. A loud thinking. A sigh. Depending on how you set up you see read all these on your main page. Do not have to go anywhere. I am driving. I just stopped. I just filled gas etc. etc. It entertains. Though I still do not write much, I visit facebook everyday. Glancing on the first page, I can get a quick view on whats happening around.

Someone can have a facebook based app for development teams also. And for business teams. Instead of writing weekly reports that are boring, may these these are better for teams to collaborate on information.

39. Four years since I wrote about fading shadows. What did change. The shadow should have started shrinking and I should have started coming out of it now. I am think a bit differently now. The first half was learning. The second half need to be delivering. Am I doing that? Am I falling off?

I want to get back. On blogging too. Entire 2008, I had 9 posts! Compare that with 35 in 2007 and 57 in 2006. And this is the first in 2009. I thought of moving to Wordpress. But why? What does it help? My problem is not where it is hosted. It is simply that I do not know what to write these days. I have lost of the corner of mind that was used as a scratchpad. At 4 past noon, am I still struggling?