Sunday, March 29, 2009


The laptop in which I store all my music, Podcasts (35 Gb) crashed last week. I am working restoring the info from my IPOD since last night. Looks like will take a couple of hours more.
So I would post on that and other issues to discuss next week.
Till then Take it easy and take care; live consciously.


Sunday, March 22, 2009

Shirdi, IPL, Varun, Lay off

I am back from Shirdi travel last week(Sunday to Tuesday). Great trip. Crowd was phenomenal close to 100,000 Sunday (2 Hrs in queue from 3 pm to 5pm) Monday was far less. The Sunday was the 5th day after the festival of colors "the Holi festival", so had a look of Sai Baba's photo carried on a chariot and the gaiety associated with the festival of colors. (First time seen the chariot in my 10 trips over the past 19 years).

Security and access are issues. Many places you have to walk barefoot so watch out for stained legs and its consequences, as my daughter almost has allergic symptoms. Lot of confusion on entry and exits, (Especially if you enter thro gate 3(Dwaraka Maii side) it will only lead to exit to GATE 1 and you have to enter again thro gate 1 to come in) confirm my firm belief that administrators make a mess of simple things. Big queue for mobile phone handover as it is banned inside samdi mandir, so leave mobile phones at hotel room.

Also the chance to touch Baba's samadhi is no more possible, it is all protected with glass. As I visit every time, I see that the man-divine interaction in a physical sense is getting withdrawn more and more. Anyway, You forget all the hardship and harassment when you stand in the sanctum- sanctorum and it is all just tears in your eyes that wash all the sins. So for that you can bear anything.

This visit I was helped by local personnel to get a VIP pass for the second visit Monday to samadi mandir, so it was a bonus.

Also as the cab driver told me, "the more you wait in queue, the more you get a chance to chant his name and hear about Sai Baba's deeds, that is what he wants, He does not want you to come to him in a easy/ quick access". That was an enlightening moment for me in this trip and a huge take away. So the next visit, I will be more patient to wait in queue and reach his sanctum sanctorum.

I would also mention that many people visit Shirdi do not take time to visit the Khandoba Temple. This was the place where Sai was first welcomed by Mhalsapathi and said "AAO SAI" (Welcome Sai).

Also the cab driver took us to the place where Sai Baba first meditated and stayed before moving to Shirdi. This temple is very near to the Kopargaon Train station on the main highway to Shirdi. There is a temple now
called Tapobhumi Mandir.

Yes, This was my first trip on train almost in 2 years on Indian railways, lot of improvements on passenger facility / reservations etc. But the recession/ inflation has taken effect, I guess on food stalls on stations as well as quality of food served in train. (Still better from health perspective from local vendors on train stations I would assume!!!).

Ok, moving to other things, I am more than delighted that the IPL is moving out of India, I despise the bikini clad cheerleader version of this disgusting circus. Anything that takes off hype is welcome one more so in the middle of elections and exams. What a tragedy?? Would any body come and watch overseas!!!! How can they call Indian premier league of cricket when Indians play matches overseas??? Rip off !!!.

My friend Dilip has posted an interesting thoguhts on Varun Gandhi's speech.
Good distill of the situation, but at the same time, having lived in Gujarat and seen the way things happen, it is not surprising that the emergence of Modi and Varun, as seen counter balance by some. All I can hope that in near future it doesnt lead to a Nazi like situation with a 21st Century Hitler coming to guide us all.

There was an intestine case study in March 09 HBR on lay offs. Very divergent thoughts.

OK, till next week, take it easy and take care, live consciously.
Vande mataram.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Early posting; Gold; Worst cities, Happy

I am posting this Friday evening as we are all are leaving for Shirdi tomorrow to have Baba's darshan and blessings.

I remember my grandmother telling that in her time (85 Years back) the price of gold was US $ 10 an ounce. So It is mind boggling to see Gold price predicted to hit US $ 2300 an ounce. Yes, 10 $ in 1920s would be a huge amount!!. Such are times!!.

Not Surprised to see Bombay, Madras, Delhi are listed in the Worst 10 cities for business people in the Business week survey. Lagos tops the list.

Realclearmarkets is a good site to keep tab on economic / business information. Marshall Goldsmith mentioned this site in his podcast with Wayne.

Feeling great to see West Indies won the cricket series against England. The happy days are back, I hope. As a die hard WINDIES fan( The only team besides Australia, I bother to follow) it cheered me a lot.

Till next week, Take it easy and take care; Live consciously.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Sign of growth, Semantic Web, Loving Relationship, This yet that

This is the time of Performance reviews and discussions on compensation revisions. I am getting comments from my friends, that in these time of uncertainty, while at one end of the spectrum it is a great achievement to keep the job intact without worrying too much about pay cheque. There is an another school, which is oblivious to theses situations and measure the growth only in terms of Salary raise and cash components to take home and be happy about it and nothing else matters. I just wonder where the balance lies?. On behalf all those managers who are facing this dilemma, I have posted the question in the MT Forum.

Steve Pavlina is back with a fabulous 100 Minute podcast on discussing Loving relationship. Steve quote"
This is a podcast about loving, intimate relationships that Erin and I recorded together this afternoon. We discuss the inner workings of our (almost 15-year) relationship in depth and share insights, advice, and stories regarding the various topics that touches lives". Worth listening, I enjoyed it very much and the discussion gave me some insight to improve my Loving relationship for sure. Thanks Steve.

I received a forwarded email from a safety manager in which the Wall street investment banking firm had appreciated his company's efforts and mentioned a line or two in their forecast report. I was just wondering who are these folks responsible for appreciating about these TECH focused activities? Do they really know or have a grip on what is happening? Do we take that with a pinch of salt and dance on the ceiling? I guess the whole mess, we are in today, is all due to the investment banks/ wall street making. It was like a saying in my mother tongue Tamil" Saitan vedam Odukiradu"( Satan Preaching Bible to the congregation!!). I dream for the day when Wall street tunes are no longer heard and people don't dance to it! The results are more focused on Technical performance/ producing quality people and decent margins. Not in my life time I guess!!.

I am reading "Toyota Way" by Jeff W Liker. This book is an eye opener, for those who want to learn the lean manufacturing. What I liked the most in the book is the concept" This YET That" which looks at contrasting aspects that go in to designing and building a world beater. A must read for any one who is on the manufacturing/ Supply chain side.

As I was reading the HBR Feb 09 on the "Breakthrough ideas for 2009" list. One of them "Semantic web" caught my imagination. I look forward to the day when search results for what we want is all bundled up and served in one page!!. That day may not be far away.

Ok, Till next week, take it easy and take care; Live consciously

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Oscars, 3000 £ Tips, Bad Boss, Childhood Memory

So the Oscars are out. As expected the Oscar committee went with the herd mentality and gives awards to the film that is popular without any logic. I didnt see anything fancy in the Slumcrap movie as classic as Titanic, No country for Old man, Departed or Gandhi. I still wonder how " Curious case of Bejamin Button" missed more awards!!.Any way that is how it goes. While I am a die hard fan of Old school of Indian music directors like Vishvanathan- Ramamoorthy, I have some inclination to listen to Illayaraja and AR Rahman. But the music for Jai Ho is nothing earth breaking to receive an Oscar as Rahman himself admits. If you listen to his Vandemataram (Salute to the mother land) or Mustafa mustafa or Roja, they are great tunes that turns you and melts you and would last and linger for ever. I guess 2 years down the line no one is going to hum Jai Ho. It will be gone with the Wind.

Rahman's Oscar also brings out the fact that you need a western touch to launch your career to the next level, it may be recognition, coaching or education be anything to go to the quantum leap as they call. I can even feel that in my case, the toughest jobs to sweat it out, the challenging experience, hands on,the most intricacy in learning were all in Indian companies till 1991. I guess the learning was almost complete in the first 6 y ears with 16 Hrs a day, 6 days a week, common thing and no big deal and the learning was tremendous (Not to waste time to get snacks / dinner on company expense!!). The recognition, rewards and the materialistic success all happened when I moved to the Multinational environment!!! Yes, the self refinement was amazing in the MNC environment. I guess the Indian system is more harder on people to hand out recognition and reward, may be sets the bar very high!! or praise and miss out the 12 elements of great managing.

I took this Web basics quiz, got 6 out of 20 correct, you may try it out!!.

It was fascinating to read the fortune article last week on Facebook, I didn't work my profile or so I thought. When I did enter my user name and password , Wow, there was my facebook profile created some time back. I had an inkling that I would have created and wouldn't have missed my presence in the most happening thing!.

Wow, here is a personal reflection, 2 Prisoners escaped while guards watched cricket match on TV in Australia. Reminds me of my childhood memory of listening to the radio cricket commentary of match in Jullundar (1974 West Indies in India) and letting thieves come in to my home and steal away the cloths put out for drying), still remember the scolding from parents.!!!. Wonder how the guards felt??.

I have subscribed to Dier Spiegel International web edition and was astonished to read this article in which a British banker tipped 3000 £ tip in the bar. No wonder the economy is hitting south. The article discusses the dismal state of UK economy!!.
Wayne Turmel, is coming out with webinar/ training session on How to create and manage remote teams on 30th March. I have attended Wayne' s great web meetings, live once last year and it is worth attending. Here is the link for registration.

I have been very very lucky that in my 24 years of career, (excpet for a period 7 months during the last millennium, when I had a bad boss who was agressive/ arrogant) I had been blessed to work under great bosses. If you are in such a unlucky situation, here is a series of podcasts from Mike and Mark on career tools. Basically it is to align yourself to his behavior and work out exit plan if it wont work out!!.

I leave you with the 100 best leadership blog list.

Till next week, take it easy and take care; live concisously.

John McCain.

#329 Very sad to wake up to the news of passing away of Senator John McCain aged 81 (4 days short of his 82nd Birthday).  He was a true ...