Thursday, July 14, 2011

A Computer was something on TV

A computer was something on TV
from a science fiction show of note
a window was something you hated to clean...
And ram was the cousin of a goat...

Meg was the name of my girlfriend
and gig was a job for the nights
now they all mean different things
and that really mega bytes

An application was for employment
a program was a TV show
a cursor used profanity
a keyboard was a piano

Memory was something that you lost with age
a cd was a bank account
and if you had a 3" floppy
you hoped nobody found out

Compress was something you did to the garbage
not something you did to a file
and if you unzipped anything in public
you'd be in jail for a while

Log on was adding wood to the fire
hard drive was a long trip on the road
a mouse pad was where a mouse lived
and a backup happened to your commode

Cut you did with a pocket knife
paste you did with glue
a web was a spider's home
and a virus was the flu

I guess i'll stick to my pad and paper
and the memory in my head
I hear nobody's been killed in a computer crash
but when it happens they wish they were dead.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

My three words...

Every year, I work on a personal framework for how I want to frame and then execute my actions.

It’s not goal setting, because the goals can change. It’s not resolutions, because those are also end-states.

Instead, these are ways to think that help me frame how I’m going to think about and then take action on what I’m faced with. Think of it as a set of tools that I will use to interpret and then interact with the world around me.

These are obviously personal. Yours would be different.

Believe, Loops, and Farm..

Each word has more than one meaning to how I intend to use it. I do that on purpose. I think it’s tricky to remember too much at any one time, so I just want three words that act as “zip files” or icons for larger ideas.

I can unpack the payload of the ideas for reinforcement, but I can also just use the words as reminders of all that I intend to accomplish through these words. Believe In the simplest form, I want to remind myself to believe in what I do.

A little deeper, I want to use visualization to believe that things are what I wish them to be, and then construct my execution around these visions.

For instance, when I approach getting a new job, I act as if I work for the target company already. I feel it in my belly. That makes me not waste time worrying whether I get the job. I’ve got the job.

Instead, I use the conversation to uncover how well we’re going to work together. If it appears we won’t, maybe I’ll quit the job before the interview has even been completed. There are other ways to unpack believe, but that’s all I’ll share for now.


Loops is a reminder on a lot of fronts.

On one side, I have to realize the full circle of projects better. I have a lot of aptitude for starting things, but not as much to see them through to fully realized execution.

In this coming year, I intend to better think out the “idea handles” I give my ideas, and make sure that other people pick up the ideas, and execute them to completion.

I’m working with a team of professionals, and a team of eager learners. I simply need to present the full circle of my ideas, and make sure I check things out.

On another front, I need to close loops in my communication better. I can’t have 11 emails to make a meeting. I have to get it done in 2. Why?

Because I’m processing over 100 emails a day right now. Loops reminds me to be wary of my communications loops.


This one is the noun and the verb.

On one hand, I want to remember the “Law of the Farm,” that things take nurturing and that things need to be grown out of the mundane, the repetitive, and the carefully measured out moments of the passage of time.

Because I’m a bit of a leap thinker, I get frustrated by this part of life, but I shouldn’t. Because it just doesn’t change. Life progresses naturally, not at the pace I want.

On the other hand, I must be reminded to farm, to tend my gardens, to spend time in the fields, to consider what crops I’m cultivating, and why.

What parts of my life matter to me and need tending, and which things need to be weeded out? Am I spending too much time in fields that don’t yield good return? Is there a marketplace for some of my efforts? How will I harvest?

Applying These Words... I’m carrying around a little note with all three words on them. I’ll have them posted on my laptop (when I get back home), and I’ll put them in a few key areas.

Repetition of the message is important to me following my goals here.

I’ll put them as a permanent visual so that I remember to pay attention to those three focal points.

As I go through decision making, I’ll work on improving my application of the three words to everything I’m passing through.

For instance, if someone approaches me for a project, I’ll ask whether I believe in the endpoints. I’ll determine the full circle that needs to be in place if I implement the project, and I will consider whether this project will yield results, and what it will take to tend the project.

I’ve used 3 word tools since 2009, and have had year-after-year success.

I’m not sharing my 3 words because YOU need to adopt the same words. I’m sharing the process, because you might find something useful in its telling. What do you do to frame your thoughts? How do you decide things?

What are your ideas on three words to guide your actions? Do let me know if possible...

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Share the happiness always....

This story can change your thinking...

Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room. One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the room's only window. The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back.

The men talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation. Every afternoon when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window.

The man in the other bed began to live for those one hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color of the world outside.

The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake. Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every color and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance.

As the man by the window described all this in exquisite detail, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine the picturesque scene. One warm afternoon the man by the window described a parade passing by.

Although the other man couldn't hear the band - he could see it. In his mind's eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words. Days and weeks passed.

One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep. She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take the body away.

As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone.

Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the real world outside. He strained to slowly turn to look out the window beside the bed. It faced a blank wall. The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate who had described such wonderful things outside this window.

The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not even see the wall. She said, "Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you."

Epilogue: There is tremendous happiness in making others happy, despite our own situations. Shared grief is half the sorrow, but happiness when shared, is doubled.

If you want to feel rich, just count all the things you have that money can't buy.

"Today is a gift, that's why it is called the present."

The origin of this letter is unknown, but it brings good luck to everyone.

Share the happiness always.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Mahabharata, the great epic.....

Mahabharata, the greatest epic is hailed as the fifth veda. Of all the characters in the epic, Shree Krishna’s role is the most important of all. Without his presence, the Kurukshetra war would have not been fought.

Without his indulgence, Arjuna would have never lifted his bow against his own cousin brothers. But he being the God himself knew everything. He says in Bhagavad Gita that everything was destined to happen, that he knew the outcome of the war.

And hence even though he is my most favourite character in the entire book, I did not take up his character for discussion since it is not just me, but anyone would find it impossible to analyze him.

The other character which has always fascinated me is Karna’s. His story is one of the saddest, since he was ill-fated ever since his birth. Born to Kunti and Suryadeva (Sun) and being one of the best warriors of all times, he probably deserved a better life. His mother abandoned him along with his protective armor and earrings, soon after his birth since she was unmarried at that time.

A charioteer of King Dritharashtra picked him from the river where his mother left him floating in a box and adopted him as his own son. Dronacharya was the tutor for all the princes from Hastinapur like Yudhistra, who was known for telling only truth, Bhima, who was known for his strength and Arjuna, who was known for his archery skills and their cousins like Duryodhana, whose pride was the primary cause for the war.

Karna, was brought up by a poor father and this led to a refusal for teaching by Drona. Karna now approached Parashurama, who taught only Brahmins and lied to him that he was a Brahmin. Karna also learnt the usage of Brahmastra from him.

Once in the ashram of Parashurama, Karna fires an arrow aimlessly and a cow belonging to a Brahmin dies. The Brahmin curses him saying “Let the wheel of your chariot get stuck in the mud and at that very instant let someone kill you. This is your punishment for killing an innocent cow”.

Indra or Devendra (king of Gods), father of Arjuna did not want Karna to become more powerful and hence took the form of a worm and stung Karna when Parashurama was sleeping on his lap. Karna withstood the pain since he did not want his guru to wake up.

The guru woke up and upon seeing the blood oozing out of his body, immediately recognized that Karna was not a Brahmin. A Brahmin could never withstand such a pain and still keep quiet. Parashurama cursed Karna for lying saying “When you are fighting with an enemy and the enemy is about to kill you, you will forget everything you learnt from me”.

Duryodhana becomes a good friend of Karna. Duryodhana makes him a king of a city and thus Karna joins the Kauravas. Karna never knew that he was son of Kunti and that Arjuna was his step-brother. Along with Duryodhana, he developed hatredness towards Arjuna and all the other Pandavas.

Indra was now getting scared of Karna as the news spread far and wide that he was a great warrior. He devised a plan to get hold of the earrings and the divine armor of Karna. Suryadeva came to know about this plan and warned Karna not to give his armor and earrings to anyone.

But Karna refuses to agree saying that he is “Dhana shoora Karna”, which means he gives anyone anything they ask for. Soon Indra comes dressed like an ordinary Brahmin and asks for the armor and earrings. Karna recognizes him as Indra and asks for his Shaktyayudha in return. And this way Indra makes him vulnerable to death by taking his armor given by Suryadeva himself.

Kauravas snatch the kingdom from Pandavas by cheating them and refuse to return one half of it, when they come back from exile. The Kurukshetra war is then declared. Krishna informs Kunti about the war. Kunti now approaches Karna, hoping to make him change sides. She accepts him as her son and asks him not to wage a war against his own brothers.

“Let the world see Karna and Arjuna unite”, she requests. But Karna says “Oh mother, you abandoned me and as a result I am denied of all my Kshatriya rights. You have not come here to accept me as a son, but only for your selfish motive.

I will not kill your other sons but either Arjuna or I will survive at the end. I have eaten Duryodhana’s salt and it is time for me to show loyalty and gratitude towards that dear friend of mine”. Kunti also makes him promise her that he will not use the same weapon twice.

And thus the war begins. Karna and Arjuna get involved in an intense fight.

Krishna urges Arjuna to not show compassion towards Drona, Bhisma, Jayadratha and Karna here, in this stanza from Bhagavad Gita:

Now Karna uses Sarpastra, an arrow which is shaped like a snake, aiming it at Arjuna’s throat. As soon as Sree Krishna sees this, he pushes Arjuna’s chariot and sinks it a few inches deep in the mud. As a result, the arrow hits Arjuna’s crown and knocks it off his head. The arrow flies back to Karna and asks him to use it again.

It assures him that this time it will kill Arjuna. But Karna refuses to do so in order to keep his promise that he will not use an arrow more than once. The fight now continues between Karna and Arjuna. Arjuna gets ready with a very poisonous deadly arrow and just then as if to signal the end of Karna, his chariot sinks into the ground (the brahmin’s curse).

Karna forgets to use Brahmasatra, as a result of Parashurama’s curse. Then he asks Arjuna not to fire an arrow at him, while he tries to get his chariot out of the mud. He requests him to follow dharma.

Karna followed dharma (established code of conduct), in that, he was good natured and a very dependable person. Loyalty is an important trait that Karna displays. Since he ate Duryodhana’s salt, he does not betray and change sides when his mother asks him to.

He never broke his promises. He did not try to kill any of the Pandavas, other than Arjuna, even though he defeated them. Even though Sarpastra asked him to fire it again and it was evident that it would have definitely killed Arjuna, yet just to keep his promise, Karna refuses to fire it.

He was a great friend to Duryodhana and showed his gratitude towards Duryodhana for supporting him when he needed support.

Even though Suryadeva warns him not to give his armor, he does not refuse to give it to Indra who requests for it. He indeed is “dhaana shoora”.

His situation is really pitiable in that he being a prince, never got what he deserved ever since his mother abandoned him. He ended up in a war where he had to fight against his own brothers, in order to support a friend. It was all due to ill-fate.

For which, Sree Krishna says “Now that you are in trouble, you remember dharma. Where was your dharma, when you did these wrong deeds with Duryodhana?”

He committed adharma (behaved against the established code of conduct) like this:

Building friendship with someone like Duryodhana and then maintaining that friendship, even when what Duryodhana did was not right. He fell into wrong company and when you are with friends, you tend to start supporting them. That is why it is important to choose right set of friends.

Karna cheated his guru by telling a lie that he is a Brahmin, when he was not. He supported Duryodhana in every evil deed of his like - Karna uses shameful words against Draupadi and asks Duhsasana to seize garments of Draupadi and hand them to Sakuni, he also supports Duryodhana in trying to poison Bhima, in trying to burn Pandavas in a wax house.

Karna was responsible for killing Abhimanyu, son of Arjuna by trickery. Karna with others made Abhimanyu enter the Chakravyuha (a circular formation) which only Arjuna knew how to come out of, and then blocked the entrance so that other Pandavas could not enter. Arjuna and Krishna were battling somewhere far.

Abhimanyu, all alone battled with six great warriors and then Karna went behind and broke his bow and armor, which was against the rules of the battle. Abhimanyu fought with the wheel of his chariot but all six of them surrounded Abhimanyu and killed him.

After hearing what Krishna said, Karna bowed his head in shame but still took his bow and started fighting. He shot an arrow at Arjuna that pierced his chest and then utilizing this time that he gained, Karna began lifting his chariot. At that instant, Krishna asked Arjuna to use Anjalika weapon, which then severed Karna’s head from his body.

This is something that today’s generation can learn from Karna’s story. One should make friendship of noble men and stay away from people who deviate from dharma.

Just because your friend asks you to cut someone’s throats, will you cut? One needs to make a decision here. What is right and what is wrong? This is where Karna lacked in judgement. Even though Duryodhana had helped him, did he really have to take a wrong path and help him?

Please note: The author of this post has not read the original Mahabharata, written by Vedavyasa. He has just read the translations of that by other authors and also obtained some points from B.R.Chopra’s video depiction. Should you find that some of the parts of the story are not actually true, please let the author know by leaving a comment.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

circle of habits ...

How difficult can it be to do something which lies far beyond the vicious circle of habits?

You fight against it in order to attain it and from time to time you get a small victory, a swift gaze just around the corner. But the honey-sweet, colorful taste of deep vision is almost always rapidly changed back into the cocooning bitterness of that monstrosity called “ego”.

However, monstrosity as it often might be, it still remains a most vital part of us which is needed to live life more or less properly, without which we would all dissolve into a devastating, schizophrenic chaos.

Through its vitality it’s also an instrument of growth, a process (or rather, a highly dynamic and organic cyclic dance which is never truly the same again after each turn) during which its boundary must continuously be expanded. This does not mean an ever inflating, limiting sense of “I” versus “the world”, rather than an ever deepening, embracing awareness of “me” inside “the world” or “the world” inside of “me”.

Breaking the circle of habits, this cocoon woven by the ego, is almost like attempting to crystallize a purely white substance out of an otherwise formless and colorless liquid. This can be done by pouring in a second liquid which forces crystals to coagulate and to grow so they become visible to the naked eye.

However, initial crystal formation can be deceiving: a few drops can suddenly make the solution all cloudy, but when you shake a little, they often disappear and are gone forever if no more drops are added. The more drops are added, the longer these ephemeral clouds of tiny crystals can be seen, until it can, hopefully, remain stable enough to become the cradle for some beautiful crystal growth. Only when such saturation is reached can crystals start to grow.

Breaking the circle of habits through spiritual crystallization (or should we say, recrystallization?) needs more than a rational analysis of the situation.

Painful reflection or psychotherapy can flawlessly deliver all the apparent causes of any vicious circle, its entire history starting from the supposed point of origin.

But all this knowledge doesn’t break it. It helps to understand it, that’s for sure, but it’s not enough to finally break it. The same patterns will continue to pop up, mercilessly tormenting the conscious mind who feels helpless, abandoned and utterly powerless to facilitate inner change.

What else is needed then besides rational analysis?

The seed of a vicious circle often lies in a shadow territory of the human soul, where the ego feels powerless. To enter this Great Unknown means to open up towards the bitter and disillusioning fact that one contains more than merely an ego.

It’s bitter, because an ego is incredibly well adapted to do especially one thing, namely to inflate itself, regardless of one’s awareness of the process (at least, my ego has this hugely annoying tendency, but annoying as it is, there’s an innate potential for transformation and growth hidden below its outer “negative” aspects).

This tendency for inflation makes ego the supreme ruler of its universe. Every other presence in its house needs to be controlled, or repressed in case the Other One can’t be controlled.

The path to the realization that the world is not all about the ego, but that ego is just one of many satellites orbiting a much larger sun, thus becomes indeed a difficult, painful and, more often than not, a lifelong path.

Monday, September 20, 2010

“Your tongue is the translator of your intellect” ...

Here is a story .....with a good message and moral which we all, I think must emulate and follow!

As King Haroun and Queen Zubayda were sitting in their palace one day, a fisherman who was selling fresh fish was brought in front of them. King Parveez decided to buy a fish and gave the fisherman 4000 dirham for it.

The fisherman was overjoyed. He thanked King Haroun and left.

Queen Zubayda turned to her husband in anger and scolded him for paying so much for a fish. King Haroun let her have her say but said that the fish was purchased and that there was nothing that could be done about it.

However, the Queen was adamant and insisted that the fisherman be brought back.

“We will ask the fisherman about the gender of the fish,” she said. “If he answers that it is female, we will say that we wanted a male fish and if his response is that it is male, we will say that we wanted a female fish!

Either way, we will be able to return the fish and have our money back.”

So the poor fisherman was called back and was asked the question.

Fortunately, he was clever enough not to be caught out. He replied, “The fish is neither male or female. It is eunuch (neutral).”

King Haroun was so impressed by the ingenuity of the man that he ordered a further 4000 dirham to be paid to him. The fisherman thanked the King again but as he was about to leave with the heavy bag of money, one of the coins fell onto the floor. The fisherman immediately bent down to look for the coin.

Queen Zubayda was already upset that the fisherman had been given 8000 dirham.

“Look how miserly this man is!” the Queen exclaimed. “One coin has fallen out of his bag full of money and he searches for it instead of leaving it for some other poor servant to find.”

The man heard this remark and said, “O Queen, it is not out of miserliness that I search for the coin but rather because it had the picture of generous King Haroun on it. I would not tolerate anyone to cause dishonour to the King by treading on the coin.”

The King was so happy with this response that he immediately called for another 4000 dirham to be given to the fisherman. When Queen Zubayda saw all this, she thought it was better to hold her tongue and let the man go with the 12000 dirham before the King decided to increase the amount again.

Lessons from Life ...

Speech is an Art. If one knows what, when and how to talk then such a person will be successful in life.

“The beauty of man/Woman is in the clarity of his/her tongue”.

Your tongue is truly the translator of your intellect ...

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Brush with the Law

Few centuries ago, a Law teacher came across a student who was willing to learn but was unable to pay the fee.

The student struck a deal saying, "I would pay your fee the day I win my first case in the court". Teacher agreed and proceeded with the law course.

When the course was finished and teacher started pestering the student to pay up the fee, student reminded the deal and pushed days. Fed up with this, the teacher decided to sue the student in the court of law and both of them decided to argue for themselves.

The teacher put forward his argument saying: "If I win this case, as per the court of law, student has to pay me. And if I lose the case, student will still pay me because he would have won his first case. So either way i will have to get the money".

Equally brilliant student argued back saying: "If I win the case, as per the court of law, I don't have to pay anything to the teacher. And if I lose the case, I don't have to pay him because I haven't won my first case yet. So either way, I am not going to pay the teacher anything".

This is one of the greatest paradoxes ever recorded in history.

Similarly, there are things people actually said in court, word for word, taken down and now published by some court reporters, who had the torment of staying calm while these exchanges were taking place. Have a look......

Q : What is your date of birth?
A : July fifteenth.
Q : What year?
A : Every year.

Q : What gear were you in at the moment of the impact?
A : Gucci sweats and Reeboks

Q : This myasthenia gravis, does it affect your memory at all?
A : Yes
Q : And in what ways does it affect your memory?
A : I forget.
Q : You forget. Can you give us an example of something that you've forgotten?
Q : How old is your son, the one living with you?
A : Thirty-eight or thirty-five, I can't remember which.
Q : How long has he lived with you?
A : Forty-five years.

Q : What was the first thing your husband said to you when he woke up that morning?
A : He said, "Cathy, Where am I?
Q : And why did it upset you?
A : My name is Susan.

Q : Now doctor, isn't it true that when a person dies in his sleep, he doesn't know about it until the next morning?

Q : The youngest son, the twenty-year old, how old is he?

Q : Were you present at the time your picture was taken?

Q : So the date of conception (of the baby) was August 8th?
A : YesQ : And what were you doing at that time?

Q : She had three children, right?
A : Yes.
Q : How many were boys?
A : None.
Q : Were there any girls?

Q : How was your first marriage terminated?
A : By death.
Q : And by whose death was it terminated?

Q : Can you describe the individual?
A : He was about medium height and had a beard.
Q : Was this a male, or a female?

Q : Is your appearance here this morning pursuant to a deposition notice which I sent to your attorney?
A : No, this is how I always dress when I go to work.

Q : Doctor, how many autopsies have you performed on dead people?
A : All my autopsies are performed on dead people.

Q : All your responses must be oral, OK? What school did you go to?
A : Oral.

Q : Do you recall the time that you examined the body?
A : The autopsy started around 8.30 p.m.
Q : And Mr Dennington was dead at the time?
A : No, he was sitting on the table wondering why I was doing an autopsy on him.

Q : Are you qualified to give a urine sample?

Q : Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?
A : No
Q : Did your check for blood pressure?
A : No
Q : Did your check for breathing?
A : No
Q : So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?
A : No
Q : How can you be so sure, Doctor?
A : Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.
Q : But could the patient have still been alive, nevertheless?
A : Not unless he was out practicing law somewhere