Showing posts with label Misc. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Misc. Show all posts

Friday, February 27, 2015

Life's goals - revisited

The Raison d'être of life is to achieve. This might insinuate everyone has to achieve something worthy in his life: I am not denying it; however, I would go further to say one has to keep on achieving in every stage of his life; every year, every month and so on. This brings to an even further important quest: what to achieve; what is the goal.

There are stages in life when the goal is pretty obvious during that phase and hence no intellectual introspection is required for most. This generally applies till one completes his studies; some really excel in this part of life and get to a professional career of choice.

Once into the career which he has painstakingly gotten into after so many years of studies and other related activities, does he really believe whether the career he is into is worthy of all the goals so far in his life? Doubtful. The goals then shift to reaching “a particular level” in the organizational hierarchy, own a house, raise a family, international vacations etc. Depending on multiple variables, all these can be achieved over a period of time as long as he does not fritter away opportunities coming his way and does not keep goals beyond his reach. Now what next?

The next stage is the one where the goal is to look for a goal. Now the person looks beyond him or within him. Some get involved in social activities – not because they become more concerned about the society than before, but just because they need a goal. Some start exploring spiritual thoughts and get lessons like “living in the present” is the key, fitness of the mind and body etc. No complaints, but what is the goal here: the person is trying to find happiness within him in the latter or provide contentment/happiness to others in the former.

In the three broad compartments of life mentioned above, there are three distinct goals, not one of them linked to the other. The above division of life is just an example: a person can have any number of stages in his life and that many different goals. Nonetheless, what strikes me is the huge inconsistency in targets as we move along in life. If anything, I would prefer a single goal to have in life right through. The sub-targets in each stage should lead one step closer to that single goal.

What can be that one thing worthy enough to be a goal? Since it is one’s life in question, the goal should be such that it demands more on moving closer and be a mirage in a positive sense. The goal should be something which upon achieving a portion makes one want more of it. What can be that goal? Two things come to my mind that can fit this description: Money and Happiness.

Remember we are thinking about a goal from childhood to old age. Can money be the goal in the early stages of life: not possible. Hence, the only possible goal to have is happiness. All the achievements we target are tools towards this goal; but in pursuit of the tools, most of us lose sight of the goal. It is time we take efforts to change.

Be happy: that is life’s only worthy goal.

P.S.: This is a repeat of my earlier post

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Clear as Mud

Read a forwarded post on facebook  - "Clear as Mud" - written by one Aubrey Bailey on the state of confusion and militarism in the middle-east. Brilliantly put:

“Are you confused by what is going on in the Middle-East? Let me explain. We support the Iraqi government in its fight against Islamic State (IS/ISIL/ISIS). We don’t like IS but IS is supported by Saudi Arabia whom we do like. We don’t like President Assad in Syria. We support the fight against him, but not IS, which is also fighting against him.
“We don’t like Iran, but the Iranian government supports the Iraqi gov’t against IS. So, some of our friends support our enemies and some of our enemies are our friends, and some of our enemies are fighting our other enemies, whom we don’t want to lose, but we don’t our enemies who are fighting our enemies to win.

“If the people we want to defeat are defeated, they might be replaced by people we like even less. And, all this was started by us invading a country to drive out terrorists who weren’t actually there until we went in to drive them out – do you understand now?”


Source: http://www.davidicke.com/forum/showthread.php?t=282391

 

Sunday, June 01, 2014

The Japan Trip

It is almost always true that a trip to a foreign land evokes tremendous amount of anxiety and excitement - absolutely true in our case as we went to Japan last month.  Owing to cost effectiveness,our journey from Mumbai to Japan had to start with a domestic hop from Mumbai to Bangalore: thanks to Dragon Air having their Indian hub in Bangalore.

Travelling with a 3 year old has its own charms but travelling with a hyper-active 3-year old meant we encountered adventures throughout the trip starting from the domestic hop.  Our flight from Bangalore to Hong Kong was delayed by about 3 hours - the a priori knowledge of this delay was useless considering the inflexibility of having to take a domestic flight. This meant we had to spend a good 6 hours in the airport from 10 PM in the night till 4:00 AM the next morning - this wait illuminated us about our kid, Sachin: that he becomes even more active than usual if he does not sleep at his usual cut-off times. Most passengers who were waiting for the flight were amazed at his energy level with one of them even jokingly questioning about the food Sachin had for dinner. Before I skip, Sachin was extremely attracted with the skirts worn by the Dragon Air female ground-staffs (probably sign of things to come in future) and this made be extra cautious and vigilant in running behind him to avoid any embarrassments.

The actual flight trip from Bangalore to Hong Kong was mostly peaceful as Sachin immediately slept on boarding the flight even before the take-off and woke up only after landing in Hong Kong airport.With about 3 hours to kill in the airport, we roamed around like vagrants inside the airport looking for some food stuffs for the kid as he had skipped the food provided in-flight. With some difficulty in navigating the large airport, we ended up in a Korean food joint and ordered for Fried Rice and Noodles - the only items in the menu that looked familiar. The food, when it arrived, was anything but familiar. Having spent $260 on the food, we did not have the gall to waste it. After food, despite or because of the lack of sleep, Sachin again became super-mischievous and started running after the Golf-cart like carts just like dogs chasing cars, testing the free computer terminals and scaring other kids on the way. His heightened level of activity again resulted in a peaceful flight to Haneda as we mostly slept through the flight.

Following are the locations we visited in Japan - mostly in sequence - Hakone, Odaiba - Miraikan, Aquarium, Fuji Safari, Kamakura, Disney Sea, Tokyo-Shibuya, Akihabara.

Hakone:
The main attractions before we started were the Step Train (Hakone Tozan Railways), Cable Car, Ropeway, Sulphur eggs of Owakudani and Ferry ride at Lake Ashinoko. The Step train was the most interesting aspect as it was the first "Japanese" thing we did: it is a train that alternates the direction of the journey along a vertical zig-zag track system to climb the mountains.  The old fashioned, but effective, signaling systems was definitely a thing to remember. The next mode of transport was a cable car which took us further higher in altitude and enabled us to take rest and lunch we had brought from home. The third leg of the journey was the most expected one - the ropeway ride from Gora to the place of Black eggs - Owakudani - (not sure about the names though) - the mild drizzle outside meant we view the scenery, hot springs via our eyes and not the camera lenses. The trip should have lasted 25 minutes but it was quite a memory with super tall trees, Mount Fuji amidst the clouds and smokes from Hot Springs. On reaching Owakudani, the drizzle meant the younger and the older ones from our entourage rested at a restaurant while the curious, brave ones ventured into a mild trekking of about 200 metres to the place where the Black eggs were getting prepared from natural Sulphur (or some compound of it) from the hot springs. Apparently, eating one of the Sulphur eggs is supposed to increase life span by 7 years. The next target for us was Lake Ashinoko - for which we took the ropeway again to Togendai.  The ferry/boat ride was as usual, the overcast conditions meant some of the long distant attractions were lost. From Togendai, we returned base to Yokohama - Totsuka in the evening in a bus. This was probably the first time I travelled in so many modes of transport in a single day: Normal Train, Step Train, Cable car, Ropeway, Ferry and Bus.

Odaiba:
After a day's rest, we headed towards Odaiba which is an island (manmade) built in the 19th century but has grown into a busy sea-port. The first attraction of the day was the monorail ride - which is a couple of bogies going at 45-50 kmph without a driver. The clear skies meant the 25-30 minute ride gave us a wonderful viewing pleasure of the rainbow bridge, roadways and skyline of the city.  After the halt for refreshments and photo clicks at the Statue of Liberty replica, we went to Miraikan - a museum for emerging scientific developments. We spent a good 4-5 hours there - notable memories were the Harinacs, Asimov robot and quite a lot of too technical stuffs. At 1300 yens entry fee, it was not a day well spent both in terms of money and time. In the evening we went to a shopping mall which turned out to be interesting with a Hawaiian event going on - in which my wife and kid even danced.

Fuji Safari Park:
The next attraction we visited was the Fuji Safari park - unlike the previous visits, we arranged for a van and went along with my brother-in-law's colleagues. The journey to the park from Totsuka itself was picturesque as the clear skies let us have a bountiful view of Mount Fuji.  The decision was cost effective as the intra-safari ride itself would have costed 1300 Yens per head.  We saw various wild animals - bears, tigers, lions, rhinos, elephants and some more - but the major difference that hit me there was the sheer number of animals they housed for each category: I would have seen close to 20 lions within a 50 square metre radius and the same can be repeated with the other wild animals.  After the safari drive got over, we got glimpses of the usual other caged animals that any zoo will have. Kangaroos were new though.

Kamakura:
The key attraction for this location was the trams which would go through the streets: but it turned out to be a disappointment owing to the vacation crowds - got a feeling of travelling in a Mumbai local.  First we visited the Hasedera temple - it was more of a greenery and sight seeing spot than a temple.  It was quite a pleasant scenery and got multiple photo opportunities.  Next we headed towards the Great Buddha - a large bronze statue of Buddha - probably the worst experience of the day.  Firstly, it was crowded; secondly, the key attraction - of going inside the statue - turned out to be a pain with the 3 year old kid as the stairs were extremely narrow and steep. And nothing great was within the statue other than two boards that explained the specialty of the statue - which can be found on the Internet itself. From there, amidst a painful drizzle, we went to the Aquarium. Apart from the usual attractions, the large underwater pool and Penguin shows were memorable.  There was a dolphin show as well which made the steep entry fee of the Aquarium somewhat worth it.

Disney Sea:
The last tourist spot we visited whilst our stay was Disney Sea: there was a decent bit of planning on the day prior to the visit so that we can optimize the time and visit most of the key attractions there.  After understanding the mechanics of how "Fast Pass" works, it was mostly a game on scheduling especially when going with people aging from 3 to 60. Though the entry fee of 6400Y appeared expensive, when compared to some of the earlier places we visited (Aquarium, Miraikon), Disney Sea was quite a value-for-money deal at 6400Y. Among the various rides and shows, the top 3 would be "Journey to the Center of the Earth", "Toy Story Mania" and "Indiana Jones".  The light show at night was quite a sight as well.

Some of the day to day memories are from Daisa - the 100Y store which housed the "Made in China. Made for Japan" products and a lot of interesting products at cheap prices though at lower-than-Japan quality.  People-wise, I feel in any commercial relationship Japanese are more courteous than Indians while in other situations they just might their own business so much so they are indifferent. 

All-in-all it was a worthy two weeks spent in Japan.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Defeatism - defined

If I have to give an anecdote for defeatism, this should be it:

"And what could man control when he is unable to control his own birth, the starting point of his life? And what could man control when he is unable to control his own death, the ending point of his life? When man is unable to control the beginning point and the ending point, how could he control the in-between, illusory story?"

Sunday, August 07, 2011

White Board

When nothing is there on a white board,
it is clean, spotless
When a line of poetry is written,
it is admirable, comprehensible
When a hundred lines are written,
it becomes blurred, hazy
When a hundred thousand lines are written,
it becomes clean, spotless

Monday, July 04, 2011

Ponniyin Selvan

Just completed reading my first Tamil novel "Ponniyin Selvan". It was a good read with good characterizations but without any significant central theme or noteworthy philosophy. At the end of the 3 month duration of reading the 2000+ page novel, I am definitely not disappointed. I am getting a sense of contentment which I normally feel after watching a good masala Tamil movie: sans logic at many and important places.

Overall, it was a good beginning to my Tamil fiction reading; would have cherished the novel had I read it 10 years back.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Life’s goal

The Raison d'être of life is to achieve. This might insinuate everyone has to achieve something worthy in his life: I am not denying it; however, I would go further to say one has to keep on achieving in every stage of his life; every year, every month and so on. This brings to an even further important quest: what to achieve; what is the goal.

There are stages in life when the goal is pretty obvious during that phase and hence no intellectual introspection is required for most. This generally applies till one completes his studies; some really excel in this part of life and get to a professional career of choice.

Once into the career which he has painstakingly gotten into after so many years of studies and other related activities, does he really believe whether the career he is into is worthy of all the goals so far in his life? Doubtful. The goals then shift to reaching “a particular level” in the organizational hierarchy, own a house, raise a family, international vacations etc. Depending on multiple variables, all these can be achieved over a period of time as long as he does not fritter away opportunities coming his way and does not keep goals beyond his reach. Now what next?

The next stage is the one where the goal is to look for a goal. Now the person looks beyond him or within him. Some get involved in social activities – not because they become more concerned about the society than before, but just because they need a goal. Some start exploring spiritual thoughts and get lessons like “living in the present” is the key, fitness of the mind and body etc. No complaints, but what is the goal here: the person is trying to find happiness within him in the latter or provide contentment/happiness to others in the former.

In the three broad compartments of life mentioned above, there are three distinct goals, not one of them linked to the other. The above division of life is just an example: a person can have any number of stages in his life and that many different goals. Nonetheless, what strikes me is the huge inconsistency in targets as we move along in life. If anything, I would prefer a single goal to have in life right through. The sub-targets in each stage should lead one step closer to that single goal.

What can be that one thing worthy enough to be a goal? Since it is one’s life in question, the goal should be such that it demands more on moving closer and be a mirage in a positive sense. The goal should be something which upon achieving a portion makes one want more of it. What can be that goal? Two things come to my mind that can fit this description: Money and Happiness.

Remember we are thinking about a goal from childhood to old age. Can money be the goal in the early stages of life: not possible. Hence, the only possible goal to have is happiness. All the achievements we target are tools towards this goal; but in pursuit of the tools, most of us lose sight of the goal. It is time we take efforts to change.

Be happy: that is life’s only worthy goal.

To be continued.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Amul - the butter ads!

The Amul hoardings are probably the only good experiences in a traffic jam (argh!) in Mumbai










Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Wedding Invitation

It is with great pleasure I invite you for my wedding with Aarthi Shanmukhi on the 7th of June in Tuticorin (Directions from Chennai)

Please treat this as a personal invitation and grace the occasion as we celebrate the start of our marriage and move forward to the next phase of our lives.

Wedding Invitation - Selva

R.S.V.P.
Regards
Selva
+91-9819975057

Monday, May 17, 2010

Mockery of Sentiment, Law and Public Money

It is hardly fathomable that the Indian legal process took 18 months to indict a person who committed mass murder  on live TV. The excuse that Indian legal process is typically slow - should not apply to such an open and shut case. Now there is a search for the hangman; going by the hysteria of the mainstream media, especially the Satellite News channels, we might even end up having a reality show to identify the most eligible hangman. 

Why could not the police / National Security Guards or whosoever nabbed Kasab kill him on the spot?

The last 2 years of his trial has been a total fiasco, wasting public money to the extent of INR 8.5 lacs per day; Going by the law minister's statement it might take about a year more before Kasab is hanged - which translates to INR 31 Crores of expense to house a manic killer.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Resignation Letter

Dear Sir,

As communicated in my earlier mail (20th April) and during our telephonic discussion, I have decided to resign from the services of xxx Bank. I would like to be relieved from the bank’s services by May 26, 2010.

I fully understand the significance of the xyz project for the bank and my role, in particular. However, given the nature of the initial phase of employment with my next employer and my wedding scheduled for the first week of June, it would be very important for me, both professionally and personally, to be relieved from here on the date specified above. Drawing confidence from my work so far and contribution to the success of the project till now, I also would like to earnestly convey that I will put in double the effort I have spent so far to ensure close-to-complete knowledge transfer does happen from me to whosoever is identified to take up the project further. I do regret for not taking this project to full completion; I would try my best that the project is handed over comprehensively to the successor. I take it as the toughest challenge posed so far in xxx Bank and fully believe I would succeed in that.

Thanks for your support all through since the commencement of this project and look forward to having successful last days at xxx Bank closing with mutual satisfaction.

Regards

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

IPL - a Bad Habit

There have been lots of positive and negative reviews on and about people involved in IPL. Be it the cricketing angle of the cannibalization of the longer forms of the game or the excessive physical demands on the players or the razzmatazz of the owners, promoters, cheerleaders or the rigmarole of the moronic commentators or the power fight between the commissioners and the ministers, IPL has got too much variations of below-par stuff.

Just like a bowler specializing in not-having-a-speciality, IPL which provides good quality of nothing still manages to garner eyeballs and mindspace. Nonetheless, I feel IPL is like smoking; just like the inability of the smokers to get rid of smoking even if they want to, I find it hard to let IPL go from the real estate of my mind. I hate watching/following IPL in any form of media but I am ending up following it in all.

IPL is a very bad habit.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Goa & Tamilpadam

I saw two of the lighter-vein Tamil movies released in the last fortnight: Goa and Tamilpadam. The former was a typical Venkat Prabhu movie with a clear intent of not having a single 'serious' scene; more than a movie, as the director himself portrays towards the end, it was like a holiday and for the audience it was a holiday very well spent. On the other hand, Tamilpadam had been floating around with a lot more hype thanks to the media houses backing the Production house. There were scenes which do capture one's attention at first sight but there was not much content to sustain that attention. There are some funky scenes in the movie but it seems to be stretched too far to fit the number of reels requirement of a typical Indian movie. I must admit I felt a bit sleepy during the second half and I had the feeling I am stuck in a Mumbai local passing Malad station when I need to get down at Churchgate. In spite of the novelty factor and a meaningful song in the movie, Tamilpadam is of the boring movies I have seen in the recent past.

Goa - please go and watch. Tamil padam - stay away.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Avatar - Short Review

I went to see Avatar - the 3D version - yesterday in PVR-Phoenix, but when I came out I had a feeling I am leaving the planet Pandora. The visual effects are so out-of-the-world (literally!), you would not think, even once, that it is fiction. The picturization is such that if at all man finds life in another planet, a common man would think of this movie's portrayal as to how the new planet would actually be. Some of the scenes in the movie are dream-like: something which is very hard to conjure even in the longest siesta on a Saturday afternoon. Quoting from elsewhere: when the Oscar nominations for the year are announced, this movie would feature in all possible technical categories and most likely win all of those. I strongly recommend all to watch this in 3D and enjoy the ultimate movie experience. Having said that, the story is not something out of the ordinary - it is a simple hero-saves-people storyline. Go for this movie and let James Cameron take you for a trip around Pandora.

Is this the greatest movie in the recent past? I would say 'The Dark Knight' is easily the best in the recent past, if not the greatest of all time. Nonetheless, I would watch Avatar at least twice again.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Monday, August 10, 2009

Thiruvalluvar Statue

Human Body:Appendix::Tamilnadu-Karnataka Peace:Thiruvalluvar Statue

The DemiGod Thiruvalluvar had already written a kural (couplet) on avoiding such farcical, useless and potentially dangerous deeds. Remembering from one of my Thirukkural lessons in School:

461. அழிவதூஉம் ஆவதூஉம் ஆகி வழிபயக்கும்
ஊதியமும் சூழ்ந்து செயல்
Weigh well output the loss and gain
And proper action ascertain.

I do not think the statue would in any way help the bonhomie between Tamilnadu and Karnataka; instead it would just act as sink for crows and source of further disputes.

Friday, July 24, 2009

50 things

Wish there was someone who gave such guidance to me before my college days...
50 Things

Friday, July 17, 2009

A Thought

Why do we celebrate 'Patriotism'?

Sometimes I think patriotism is one of the root causes of many evils in the world today.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Mongoose Bat

Please do not think this post is about some National Geographic topic on Mongooses and bats, it is the latest invention in cricket which is 'supposed' to revolutionize it.


More details about this 'bat' can be read here; but I fail to understand how a shortened bat will become more powerful when it is alwyas believed bigger and wider the better for bats (not only there!!). But the aerodynamic bat mentioned in the link does sound interesting.