Archive | May, 2009

Mind Gobblers – 5

28 May

Is same the new different?

mind gobbler – 4

28 May

Is niche the new mass?

The 65 lakh heist

27 May

65lakh_cover 

Book authored by “Surinder Mohan Pathak” and was originally written in Hindi in the year 1977 as “65 (pensat) lakh ki dakati”. After more than 30 years the translated version has come to market.

Author used to translate James Hadley Chase books in Hindi and also write original stories and is obviously inspired from JHC books. And anyone who has ever liked JHC books must read it. It is a great thriller, hero is a thief in the mold of “The Saint aka Simon Templar” (another favourite character created by Leslie Charteris) , has action, well detailed/planned robbery, treachery, double cross, chase, femme fatales,ruthless characters, flawed yet human anti-hero(s), even a mention about homosexuality (amazing for a hindi book written in 1977), and a wonderful ending including a humorous sadistic Tarntinoish touch.

All  in well well crafted, quick, satisfying read. Love the cover.

Strongly recommended.

Cover downloaded fromwww.blaft.com

Golf – A metaphor for life

26 May

Golf is more than just a game. It is a great meatphor for life in general. I would write more about it again but one simple analogy came to mind and I want to capture it before it slips from mind to oblivion.

Once Champ, a golfing buddy, said that the beauty of golf game lies in the fact that here you compete only with yourself and not with anyone else. Yes, you are trying to win but you cannot influence the game of others, only factor under your control is your game. Only by stretching yourself and improving yourself can you win. Important point here is that you are not beating anyone, you are only winning and that is counts in the final score. Think of any other game, you are always in a duel with others where you match your skills and wits against others and you are in close proximity to them, the physical closeness and presence that can influence the final outcome both through skill and psychologically manipulations. 

On the other hand in golf , yes you are playing with three other players but there are many other who are across the course, unaware of what you are achieving or how well you are doing, they are conscious of one fact that there are others like them on the course who are trying to achieve the same goal as them. You could be playing better or worse but there is no way of knowing, the only variable they can change is the level of their own game and none other.

As in golf,  same in life, as one works towards success, one can influence the immediate environment, colleagues, friends, foes that one knows but there are millions others who are also working towards the same success, who are unaware yet conscious of your presence and there is no way you can change them or their direction.

The only way to succeed in life is to win against yourself. 

And there is an immense beauty and joy in a ball that flies high, hits the green and rolls next to the pin even if hit by an opponent. In that beauty is honor and in that moment is progress.

Golf teaches you sometimes the terrain of imagination and reality does meet and where they touch each other lies the destiny of a man.        

Mind Gobblers – 3

26 May

Is I the new we?

Why Congress won?

26 May

Lots of analysis on Congress victory in these elections, like cricket now we have become experts here also, I am sure I can also add my two bit.

I will not talk about multiple individual factors like Rahul Gandhi factor or Advani calling Manmohan Singh weak but would focus on a single factor that is the voter to a large extent.

In these elections the most important factor were two large groups, youth & the lower middle class and their vote to a large extent decided the victorious versus the derided. Now the question is why did they behave the way they did.

Let us first look at the main platforms of the two main parties, and they cannot be more stark, where Congress focused on the individual and his prosperity, BJP focused on the nation and its stability/growth. It was a tussle of a micro versus the macro.

And the times we are living in somehow make micro more important than macro. Economic instability is making people unsure of their own future and a person needs to first solve his problems before he can be concerned with any larger picture. And that is what worked for Congress. 

If elections had been held maybe 2 years ago when we as a nation were getting prosperous and had a shinning outlook, then macro (like terrorism would have been a platform) because in that scenario a macro element like terrorism would have destabilized my micro secure universe. And to protect my micro I, as a voter, would have focused on resolving macro issue and would have supported a party which I would have believed could have resolved that issue.

I am of the opinion, a voter looks at everything from an individual presepctive (and correctly so) rather than a mass good lens ever. What changes is what he sees is more important for him and in this case immediate comfort of next meal and job was more important than Taliban & Pakistan.

I just hope Congress does not belie his hopes.    

Mind Gobblers – 2

15 May

Is mechanical the new civil?