Thursday, May 31, 2007

Thought of the day - 31st May 2007

The only people who find what they are looking for in life are the fault
-Foster's Law

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Unconditional Love

What is this thing called "Unconditional Love" that everybody seems to be after? Is any love unconditional? Ok, let's leave the gold digger/giggolo kind of love apart, still do you find unconditional love anywhere? Even a partner who loves you truly, dearly, from the bottom of their heart does expect you to love them back, don't they? Even a mother expects you to love her back even though she starts loving you from an age when you don't even know what love means.

Hmmm, let's analyze the profile of a person who would love you unconditionally. Such a person would love you with all their heart, not thinkng about anyone else, even if you don't love them back. Even if you openly tell them so and even if you show no friendliness or even courtesy towards them. So, a person who wants to see you, talk to you, love you, be with you, even when you don't want any of that and show your unwillingness.

I think the police have a name for such a person - Stalker!

Think about it, the profile fits perfectly. You don't want anything to do with him/her, he/she wants everything to do with you. Next time you ask God to give you unconditional love, you might do well to keep this in mind. According to a Chinese proverb:
Be careful what you wish for,
You just might get it!

Thought of the day - 30th May 2007

Happiness is an attitude.
We either make ourselves miserable, or happy and strong.
The amount of work is the same.
-Francesca Reigler

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Old friends, old wine and old books

When I got the delivery of my latest purchase this morning - Job: A
Comedy of Justice, by Robert A. Heinlein - it occurred to me that I seem
to be always buying the same books over and over again. Currently I am
re-reading 'Stranger in a Strange Land', Heinlein's Hugo award winner
novel. Before that I just finished re-reading Matt Helm's adventure 'The
Interlopers'. Trying to think 'when did I read a new book?' got me the
comforting answer that it was not too long ago that I read Heinlein's
masterpiece "Time Enough for Love". And I am actually looking forward to
receiving "Mathuselah's Children" which has the same hero - Lazarus

To believe Shakespeare, "Nothing is as tedious as a twice told tale.",
but I know for a fact that I am not the only one prone to the lure of
already-read books. There are many of us who want to pick up a book we
have already read and read it again. The question is why?

Why spend time, and often money, on a book you have already read, on a
story you already know , sometimes by heart?

To go into my own motivation I love those characters! My all time
favorite book by Heinlein is "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress". I have
recently re-read it and I still want to read it again but just
abstaining because I remember everything in too much detail right now.
I'd love to read it again after I have forgotten it a bit. The reason is
the characters, the people who live in that fantastic work of fiction,
are simply fabulous. The one-arm computer mechanic Manuel Garcia
O'Kelly, the lovable self-aware computer Mike (formal name: Mycroft
Holmes), lovely and active Gosphaza Wyoming, worldly-wise Professor, I
have come to love and admire these people. I will not go into details of
the merits of Heilein's writings in this post but the main attraction of
any story is the characters, not events. IMHO, events just bring out the
qualities of those characters. To take a non-Heinlein example, P. G.
Wodehouse's Galahead is a similarly lovable and admirable character.

Well, that's my reason, what's yours?

Thought of the day - 29th May 2007

Every day may not be good, but there's something good in every day.
-Author Unknown

Monday, May 28, 2007

Sense and non-sense

Do we always have to act sensibly? All the time? All the decisions?

To borrow from chacha Ghalib I'd like to say,
"Achchha hai dil ke paas rahe paas-baan-e-aql,
lekin kabhi kabhi usse tanha bhi chhod de."

Sensible is good, it's safe and sound, free of risk. But is that all
that we are? Thinking in the long run ultimately we all have to die.
So what is the use of preserving our life so carefully only to die in
the end?

I am reminded of a simple incident on the Indira Gandhi International
Airport where an American tourist couple, who were going back to US
offered me some money. They were strangers to me and I to them, but
the money was in Indian currency and they would have no use for it
once they boarded the plane. Unfortunately, I was a passenger on the
same plane, going back to US for work, and I was basically in the same
situation as them. I told them so and they gave the money to someone

In this life we have a finite moments of life. We can use those
moments anyway we want. You cannot carry them over to the other side.
You cannot put them in a vault to wait for your next trip. You have to
spend them here and now, in this one life.

How do you spend them? What are you getting in return for them?

You spend 7 12-hour days in office and get commendation from the boss.
Was it worth it?

You spend an hour listening to your wife and her various troubles at
work and get a warm hug in return. Was it worth it?

You leave work half an hour early to pick up your girlfriend from her
office, unexpectedly, and get her sweet smile in return. Was it worth

You get home in time just so you can pick up your 2 months old
daughter and look at her smile. Was it worth it?

What exactly are we supposed to buy with this currency? What is a good
expenditure? I bet it's not all those "sensible" things.

It is said as an example of sense that you should have sense enough
to come in out of the rain. It is sensible.
What if it's the last rain you'll ever see? What if you'll never feel
the cold caress of rain drops on your face?

When was the last time you wasted the well-earned rest of Sunday
playing cricket with some neighbor kids you hardly know?

When did you ignore the sensible advice of going to bed early and
stayed up playing Antakshri with kids well past midnight?

Life is made up of moments. I think we spend moments and earn moments.
Moments that we remember all our life. Moments that make us feel
alive. Moments that define us. Moments that earn us our place in
history. Moments....

Read Nadine Stair's poem sometime when you get a minute. She and I
think along the same lines:

I think we all need some non-sense in our lives! Don't you?

Friday, May 25, 2007

Thought of the day - 25th May 2007

There are two primary choices in life;

to accept conditions as they exist, or accept the responsibility for
changing them.

-Denis Waitley

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Thought of the day - 23rd May 2007

If you don't like something change it;
if you can't change it, change the way you think about it.
-Mary Engelbreit

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Thought of the day - 22nd May 2007

Think big thoughts but relish small pleasures.

-H. Jackson Brown, Jr.,
Life's Little Instruction Book

Friday, May 18, 2007

Thought of the day - 18th May 2007

I am not judged by the number of times I fail, but by the number of
times I succeed:
and the number of times I succeed is in direct proportion to the number
of times I fail and keep trying.
- Tom Hopkins

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Thought of the day - 17th May 2007

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and
leave a trail.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Another one of my most favorite ones.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Happy Mother's Day!

When was Mother's day? I don't know. I don't keep a tab on that.

I did not wish my mother on Mother's day. Other than having weak
communication ties to the village in India where my parents are living
right now, I will first have to explain to her what is Mother's day and
what is the need for it.

Come to think of it, what is the need for it?

Reminds me of a little story.

Bhagwan Mahavir, when he was crowned the king, spent a whole day in
bestowing gifts, grants, awards, trade concessions and the like all day.
By the evening he was tired, but happy, and proud that he had made
everyone in his kingdom happy.

When he went back to the palace to eat, he realized that his mother was
the only one he had not given anything to. So he asked what it would
take to make her happy. She insisted that she was already happy but he
wanted to pay her back for all she had done for him. Finally, she agreed
to ask for something and asked something strange. She asked for Mahavir
to sleep in her room and on her bed that night. He was puzzled but he
could not make her ask for anything more. So, he agreed.

That night, when Bhagwan Mahavir lay down to sleep beside his mother, he
got up immediately with a jump.
"Mother, this bed is wet!", he exclaimed.
"Yes, I know.", his mother replied calmly.

He was even more perplexed when his mother told him that she had ordered
the servants to sprinkle water on her bed.
In an astonished state of mind, he asked for her reason and got this,
"Son, when you were a little child, you used to sleep with me. And quite
a few times you wetted the bed (no nappies then), and when that happened
I used to switch with you and put you down on the dry side and sleep on
the wet side of the bed myself. I have spent countless nights like that
sleeping on the wet bed, but if you spen this one night with me on this
wet bed, I'll call it even."

Bhagwan Mahavir fell at his mother feet. He realized then that no matter
how rich or how powerful he is, noone can pay back a mother's debt.

Anytime I am getting too big for my shoes, this little story puts things
in perspective for me.

I think it was Saint Aurbindo who said, "God could not be everywhere so
he created mothers!". I agree with him but I believe more in my mother
than in any God.

But I don't need a made-up holiday to remind me of my mother. The made
up holidays Valentine's day, Mother's day, Father's day are for people
who are too busy to respect these relations. While every one of these
days is a chance to celebrate that relationship, I believe that if you
are not cherishing that relationship every moment, then buying a dozen
roses on a particular day will do nothing for you.

Happy Mother's Day! :-)

Hypocrisy vs. Diplomacy

I have always prided myself that I am quite 'frank'. Frank to the point of being blunt. If I don't like something I say so. If I like something I say so emphatically! But even I cannot be 100% frank, 100% of the time. There are times when being honest and truthful goes against common sense. The most basic of instincts in Man, actually in all animals, is the instinct for self-preservation. That's why when dad asks, "Did you break the window?", the child's head is already shaking in negative even before the question is finished, never mind the truth!
Then there are times when speaking the blunt truth will hurt somebody's feelings.
So, when someone is reading you a poem that he, (or worse still, his girlfriend) wrote, you are in a pickle. Do you want to say, "Nice!" or do you want to say, "Man, she sucks!"? Of course, there is that theory about finding one thing to praise and ignore the bad. In this case that'd leave you the option to say, "Yellow paper, huh? Very nice!"
Enters diplomacy! The art of saying things you don't mean and saying things in a way that hurts the least. Or sometimes just not saying anything!
"A diplomat always remembers a woman's birthday but never her age!"
"Diplomacy is the art of saying "Nice doggie" until you can find a rock."
"Diplomacy is thinking twice before saying nothing."
"A lover tries to stand in well with the pet dog of the house."
The long and short of it is that sometimes to get a favor, sometimes to be polite, to avoid hurting feelings, to save ourselves, to avoid expense...for various reasons, we find it necessary to be diplomatic.
Then what is hypocrisy? Not saying what you are thinking? Or saying the opposite of what you are thinking?
I have seen people who when they are talking to someone are all sugar and saccharine and just as the other person walks away they turn to me and say, "Oh, I hate that guy!" And I am thinking, 'What will he/she say when I walk away?'
I myself try to be diplomatic without being hypocritic. My friends know which one of them I like and how much. What habits of theirs I find interesting and which I hate. Sometimes I find it a fine line to walk. "When in doubt, tell the truth." I like to tell the truth but at the same time not try to hurt feelings. This second part I am still working on. :-)
One good thing about being frank is that people know where they stand with you and vice versa. A line of praise coming from me would mean something. A criticism from me would not be to just hurt their feelings. And because I speak bluntly they know I can take it when they need to speak freely with me.
According to Emerson:
"Nothing astonishes men so much as common sense and plain dealing."
I agree. And it is fun to see that astonishment!
I would like to end with a scene I find funny, it's a classic and I always think of it when someone says anything about being frank.
This is from the classic movie Wayne's World 2. Kim Basinger and Dana Carvey are sitting on the couch.
Kim says, "I am going to be frank!"
He replies, "O..kay! Can I still be Garth?"
Makes me laugh even to think about it.

Thought of the day - 16th May 2007

The drops of rain make a hole in the stone not by violence but by oft

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Thought of the day - 15th May 2007

It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer.

-Albert Einstein

But I think he was smart too. :-)

Monday, May 14, 2007

Thought of the day - 14th May 2007

Could we change our attitude, we should not only see life differently,
but life itself would come to be different.
- Katherine Mansfield

Friday, May 11, 2007

Thought of the day 11th May 2007

Look at a stone cutter hammering away at his rock, perhaps a hundred
times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the
hundred-and-first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not the
last blow that did it, but all that had gone before.
- Jacob A. Riis

Thursday, May 10, 2007

The lottery

Someone sent me a forwarded joke about a genie and 3 wishes.

I was thinking, if I got 3 wishes, what would I wish for?

Come to think of it, I wouldn't wish for anything. Honestly.

No, it doesn't mean that my life is perfect. But whatever is missing I
want to work for it. The struggle is as much fun as the achievement that
follows. Sometimes the struggle is more fun.

I do not believe in winning the lottery. For one thing, I have had this
conviction for a long time now, that I am not the lottery winning kind
of lucky guy. I am lucky, very lucky, but not that type of lucky.

Secondly, I have not heard of anyone making a real big splash in the
business world based on the money they won in a lottery. Lottery winners
lose the money just as easily as they win. Easy come, easy go. That's
why there is a certain value associated with "hard-earned money".
Lottery give you the money but not the sense and sensibility to handle
money that comes from working for it over time.

Where's the fun in everything just happening as you wish for it. Heaven,
to my mind, will be a very boring place! Something to strive for,
something to look forward to...that's part of our build up.

After working hard on a project, when your boss says, "Good job, Joe.
The client is very happy!" Will it have the same value if he said that
every morning you walked in no matter how hard you worked, or didn't
work at all?

I am glad I have no relatives who could leave me huge amounts of money.
(Not that I would refuse it, if I got it :) )

I still remember making my first 30Rs. Yes, that was my first income
that I earned by tutoring kids. There was a sense of pride and
achievement everytime that went up to 50, 60 or 70Rs. Small amount of
money. Chicken feed. But the feeling - priceless!

Making your first 1000, your first 10,000, your first million, your
first billion! All achievements beyond compare. All of them!

Getting your first million? Inheriting your first Billion? I don't think

I read a story about a larva that's trying to get out of its shell. A
man helps him by breaking away the shell. The larva was supposed to
slowly struggle with that shell and break it slowly, gradually, earning
his strength in that struggle, by means of that struggle. Because of the
help, it never had to struggle, never got the strength in its wings and
it never flew....never became a butterfly!

There's no magic lamp to give you that gratifying feeling of achievement
that is the reward of every struggle!

Thought of the day - 10th May 2007

The race is not always to the swift, but to those who keep on running.
-Author Unknown,

in reference to Ecclesiastes 9:11, "I returned, and saw under the sun,
that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither
yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet
favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all."

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Thought of the day - 9th May 2007

Vitality shows in not only the ability to persist but the ability to
start over.
- F. Scott Fitzgerald

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Thought of the day - 8th May 2007

People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are.
I don't believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world
are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and,
if they can't find them, make them.
-G.B. Shaw, Mrs. Warren's Profession, 1893

Friday, May 04, 2007

Thought of the day - 4th May 2007

With ordinary talent and extraordinary perseverance, all things are
-Thomas Foxwell Buxton

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Thought of the day - 3rd May 2007

Don't let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something
stand in the way of your doing it.
The time will pass anyway; we might just as well put that passing time
to the best possible use.
-Earl Nightingale

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Of time and priorities

One of my shared thoughts below talks of time management and priorities
and that's what I am facing these days. I love my blog, I love to share
my thoughts and there is no shortage of topics. But I have several
writing projects open and I am determined not to give up on any of them.
That's why I am spending time writing but not on the blog. It's always
in my mind though to write something and post. But then nobody's waiting
for it so I let it simmer on the backburner, it's my radio station but
there are no set schedules for the programs...:-)

Thought of the day - 2nd May 2007

I was looking for a thought on perseverance and I happened to come
across this one. It's so heartening, so inspiring, to me it feels like
good news. I thought it really appropriate for the 2nd day of the month.

I may not be there yet, but I'm closer than I was yesterday.
-Author Unknown

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Thought of the day - 1st May 2007

"Don't listen to anyone who tells you that you can't do this or that.
That's nonsense. Make up your mind, you'll never use crutches or a
stick, then have a go at everything. Go to school, join in all the games
you can. Go anywhere you want to.
But never, never let them persuade you that things are too difficult or
- Gwladys Douglas Bader quotes (British World War II pilot)

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