Friday, August 31, 2007

Thought of the day - 31st Aug 2007

"People of mediocre ability sometimes achieve outstanding success because they don't know when to quit. Most men succeed because they are determined to."
- George Allen

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Thought of the day - 30th Aug 2007

Consider the postage stamp:
its usefulness consists in the ability to stick to one thing till it gets there.

- Josh Billings

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Monday, August 27, 2007

Running in someone else's shoes


...he is running, unshaven, constantly on the road, looking behind, trying to shake the dual gun of terror, escaping the widespread net of FBI, trying to stay one jump ahead of the long arm of the law. But that's not all he has to think about, any moment a bullet from an unknown, unseen assassin's gun might fry his brains. Oh yes, the Mafia does not forgive!

...his eyes are darting left and right, looking for killers in shadows, his ears, straining, seeking any sounds that might mean danger, the cocking of a gun, the screech of tires, anything...

...he sees a phonebooth and jumps inside with the speed of a rabbit on the run from the carnivorous predators, and closes the door. Frantically he finds the right change, dials a number and ...

...starts explaining to his wife (or girlfriend) why he's not as bad a man as she thinks, he's framed, a victim of circumstances and his enemies!

At this point, I always think - What an IDIOT! The world is behind him trying to cut his life short and he is risking his life to make a phone call and for what? To try to convince a girl who doesn't even believe him? Pah! (This "Pah!" thing is growing on me, I must stop this).

Anyway, I have seen a lot of action movies and I have thought this thought many, many times. Until...

No, I never got chased by the FBI or threatened by the Mafia (so far the only threatening phone calls have been from my credit card company), but I have been in situations where a lot is at stake, money, career, reputation, professional prestige and amidst all that I was more worried about a certain girl and how things stand with her at this moment.

Our thoughts and emotions are not always evaluated and sorted as per order of importance to the world or our materialistic lives. They usually follow a pattern of importance to us, to our heart. When I used to write a diary on a daily basis (now it's more of a sporadic pattern), I usually ended it with UMTs - Upper Most Thoughts - jotting down whatever was on mind, right at the front.

Try it sometimes, just sit down and scribble your thoughts on a piece of paper, only one or two words to a thought. If you can, follow it up again, some time. Is there something or someone that keeps cropping up in those notes? You might be surprised! :-)

It's a sunny day here in rainville England so I am going biking. To the library. Cheers.

Thought of the day - 27th Aug 2007

"Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts."
- (Sign hanging in Einstein's office at Princeton)

Friday, August 24, 2007

Gotta love Helium

Wow! You gotta love Helium, in only 2 months with 3 well-written articles I have earned 31 CENTS! Isn't that incredible? 31 whole cents! In just 2 months.

On the other hand, in Second Life, with every sale of one of my fashion articles (I am trying hard not to say "My dresses", I am a man, dammit! :D ), I make about 3USD. One sale 3 US$, another sale another 3US$.

Hmmm, I am having a real hard time trying to figure out where I should focus my efforts!


[If you are interested in making money in SL, here is my article on it. ]

Thought of the day - 24th August 2007

Age wrinkles the body. Quitting wrinkles the soul.
- Douglas MacArthur (American General who commanded the Southwest Pacific Theatre in World War II, 1880-1964)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Thought of the day - 23rd Aug 2007

 "If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more,
do more and become more, you are a leader."

- John Quincy Adams (American 6th US President (1825-29),
eldest son of John Adams, 2nd US president. 1767-1848)
 

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Happy Birthday!


Today I'll talk about my personal life (yeah, like I talk about anything else on this blog). People who have been checking my blog lately would know that today is my birthday. So, as expected I am receiving the usual emails, phone calls, instant messages, text messages etc. etc.

At this time, I divide the people I know into 3 categories. First one, the people who I expect will remember and wish me, and they do. Second, people who wish me but I was not expecting them to. Also in this category should be people whose method of wishing exceeds my expectations like i was expecting an email but they tracked me down and wished me on phone in whatever corner of the world I was. Usually my parents are in this category. Since they have no business with the english calender, they cannot always remember the date and thus my date of birth holds no significance for them. Therefore I do not expect them to wish me or remember. This year they did, last weekend when I was talking to my mom on the phone she did remember, out of the blue and thus my parents did wish me.

Well, on to the third category - the people I think will remember but do not. Bad though it may sound, it is not really that bad. You always know how someone feels about you, every time you interact with them. The whole relationship does not boil down to the two words - "Happy Birthday", they are just bonus.

In this day and age when a man's circle is so big he can hardly remember the names much less remember dates for each one of his friends, associates and acquaintances, it's all done through reminder systems of some kind, paper or electronic, other than a few birthday you can never forget even if you tried (more on this later). But the very real and pressing stressful demands of real life can push it to the back of your mind. I have missed some myself, and I have had that happen to me.

I am very bad in that I don't remind anyone of my birthday, even if I am talking to them on that same day, I don't mention it.

Despite my cool, clearheaded and calm philosphy and understanding, sometimes I do feel a little disappointed. Not angry, just a little disappointed! Not about everybody, just a few people, very very few, in this category. I think once I have lost that little, tiny bit of disappointment, I will have attained enlightenment!

Thought of the day - 22nd August 2007

"Through humor, you can soften some of the worst blows that life delivers.
And once you find laughter, no matter how painful your situation might be, you can survive it."
- Bill Cosby quotes (American Actor, Comedian and Producer. b.1937, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA)
   

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Thought of the day - 21st Aug 2007

Nothing is permanent in this wicked world - not even our troubles.
- Charlie Chaplin

Monday, August 20, 2007

Thought of the day - 20th August 2007

Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Laugh uncontrollably. .. Never regret anything that makes you smile.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Thought of the day - 17th August 2007

"A little more persistence, a little more effort, and
what seemed hopeless failure may turn to glorious success."

                   Elbert Hubbard (American editor, publisher and writer, 1856-1915)


Thursday, August 16, 2007

Thought of the day - 16th Aug 2007

"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new."
- Albert Einstein

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Thought of the day - 15th August 2007

"We must expect to fail...but fail in a learning posture, determined no to repeat the mistakes, and to maximize the benefits from what is learned in the process."

- Ted W. Engstrom

Happy Independence Day to all Indians!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Mot Juste













While working in Germany I learnt that the word for "shit" in German is "Scheiße" pronounced "sha-izay". But of course, it's a dirty word so people don't say it, especially not in the work-environment. So they say "shit" because that's not a dirty word, not in the German language. I have seen similar practices in other places other languages.

Translation is not the only subterfuge. There are replacements for the dirty words in the same language too. When I first went to US and started watching the TV shows, I was appalled by the language. My favorite type of TV shows are comedy sitcoms and they are mostly based on a family situation or friends and families. I was shaken out of my socks watching a young girl use words like "screw" in her father's presence! Believe me, I opened the dictionary and checked to see if there was any other meaning. No, it is the word that means "sexual intercourse".

The difference between "screw you" and "fuck you" is only that one can be used on the national television and the other has to be replaced by a beep.

There is a whole system of such replacements words that covers profanities, blasphemies, aggression and sometimes just plain nothing. For example, I'd really like someone to explain to me what is gained by replacing "ass" with "arse" when both are pointing to the same part of our anatomy.

My point is when everybody around us knows what the word we speak really stands for, what is the sense of this whole shocked-look-hand-on-the-mouth kind of righteousness.

Both sets of words mean exactly the same thing, convey the same meaning and yet...

I think Man must be the only animal in the animal kingdom who has two faces!

Thought of the day - 14th August 2007

What other people think about me is not my business.
- Michael J. Fox 

Monday, August 13, 2007

Thought of the day - 13th Aug 2007

                        "If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there."
                   Lewis Carroll quotes (English Logician, Mathematician,
                  Photographer and Novelist, especially remembered for Alice's
                  Adventures in Wonderland. 1832-1898)

Saturday, August 11, 2007

This thing called Guilt

I am just thinking - Is GUILT a natural human emotion? My way of finding out whether something is natural or learned is to look at two groups - animals and children.

Do animals have any feelings of guilt? No, I don't mean your "Tommy, you peed on the couch's leg again. Bad dog!" kind of guilt where tommy flashes a sorry face at his owner in response. I mean natural born feelings. I don't think animals have any emotion of guilt. They do what they want to do, or need to do, and do it when where they feel like doing it.

The same goes for children. If they had any feelings of guilt or propriety, you wouldn't have to potty-train them. Children also do as they please, when they please.

Somewhere between childhood and youth we acquire this feeling of guilt. If the boy is watching TV, at the back of his mind he has a guilty feeling that his mom already reminded him of homework.

When a couple is having sex, they maybe reminded of the fact that they are not married and what they are doing maybe considered sin or a bad deed in the eyes of the church and/or the society. Isn't that where the phrase "walk of shame" comes from?

As a matter of fact, there are a lot of examples where one part of your mind is busy enjoying something while a little part of your mind is busy rationalizing it, trying to put away the guilt.

Not all the things we do are fine, and there is such a thing as a good or bad, but some time, I think, we should pause for a moment and think about how much of our guilt is real and how much just our attempt to live our life our own way defying the norms forced on us by society.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Thought of the day - 10th August 2007

It is not he, who flies when he has the wings, is the best.
It is he, who climbs uphill, when he has no legs, is the best.
- Omkar Damle

Dear Diary




English is the unofficial official language of India. Therefore it becomes imperative for everyone to learn speaking, reading and writing English as they are growing up. If they want to succeed in business/profession, that is.

Being fortunate enough to be able to learn it, I have had countless people ask me for my secret or for advice. Among other things I always tell them to write a diary.

Writing a diary is good because it’s a composition you don’t have to think about and since it’s from you and for you, you don’t have to be too grammatically correct. It makes both interesting writing and reading. For you.

But other than as a language tool also writing a diary is very useful. Many a times we have such a tangled web of thoughts in our mind that we cannot think straight or figure out our life. Life is always a web, never a straight road or even crossroads. In such a situation writing about your thoughts helps you pull the threads apart and examine them one at a time. You can understand their importance, their interrelations and the importance of these interrelations.

Most of the time out of this self-analysis will emerge a path to solution. But even if there is no solution, or no immediate solution, thinking clearly about it can calm your mind and give you peace for the time being.

When you write about people, surprisingly enough, you are more tolerant towards them than while thinking. Maybe because of the immortal nature of the written word you don’t want to be spiteful against someone who is not there (unless you are a news reporter), and this mellowed attitude filters back to your thinking.

When you put ideas to paper (even virtual paper), you can see them more clearly and judge them more accurately.

That’s my thinking. What do you think?

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Thought of the day - 9th August 2007

Keep your fears to yourself, but share your courage with others.
- Robert Lewis Stevenson

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Thought of the day - 8th August 2007

      There will come a time when you believe everything is finished.
That will be the beginning.
      Carl Bard

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Friday, August 03, 2007

Thought of the day - 3rd August 2007

Everything comes to him who hustles while he waits
- Thomas Edison

A culture of dishonesty

I am watching this TV ad for laser eye surgery, and it says that the surgery costs 395 per eye. "Per eye"! I think most people would want to fix both eyes while they are about it.

But it's not just that. It's in everything we do. Anywhere when you say something that will be read or heard by many people, honesty and factual information becomes secondary to appeal.

Prices are now always 19.95 even though it's 20 quid, they will appear as 19 to a prospective buyer, the visual appeal.

When a product is advertised the good points are embellished to the point where they are just short of falsehood. In case of several toothpastes and toothbrushes I suspect they go beyond falsehoods as long as it can't be challenged in court.

Take a good look at matrimonial ad's, words have different meanings, a "well-adjusted" girl may mean more than 2 months since she was released from the mental asylum.

This tendency is more apparent in case of businesses and corporations than individuals. Recently I had an occasion to buy a used car, and I buy a lot of things from the net, liked used books, and I find that descriptions from individuals usually contain the bad points as well as good. The system of feedbacks to create an honest reputation might have something to do with it.

A placement ad from a big company will talk all about the company's strength, it's ultra-techy image and a whole page full of things that will make it look like it's the only company to work for but there will be no mention of the fact that they laid off a big percentage of their staff in the Y2K crisis, and did it heartlessly, just before a big holiday. Or the fact that 20% of their staff resigns every year because of their policies, work environment or remuneration.

Come to think about it, how many of the "real people" ads have real people in them?

I can go on but I know I don't have to, you can think of countless such examples yourself.

Sounds like "Honesty is the best policy" is no longer the best policy. I am not a preacher of 100% of the truth 100% of the time, no culture could withstand that. On the other hand, as George Vth said, "Once people begin to deviate from the truth, they do not know where to stop!"

What is the result? The result is a common distrust. When a recruiter reads a CV he is prepared to grill the candidate to find out how much of that is true. When a candidate gets a call he always turns to his friends to ask "What kind of company is this?"

Think about the last time you tried a new product or service. Then think about the last time you tried a product or service without the recommendation of a friend or a source independent of the provider of that product or service. You might be surprised.

The ads, the press releases, the speeches, we have learned to take all of them with a grain of salt. We acknowledge them but don't accept them until we can verify ourselves.

The human race has come a long way from the caveman era. And this is the trend. What will happen in the future? Will we all become professional con-men? Will we never believe anyone who says, "Come on in, the water is fine!"?

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Thought of the day - 1st August 2007

Great opportunity is usually disguised as unsolvable problems.
- Gretchen G. Clement.

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