Sunday, October 18, 2009

Life goes on

When the Tides get rough
and life gets tough
Just hang on
for life goes on

Let the spirit
of a mountain
be the spirit
of your life

Let the song
of a river
be the song
on your lips

Clouds may pass,
leaving you lost
Endure my dear
troubles never last!

Monday, September 28, 2009

A Tamil poem on Bhagavad Gita

This one has been going on in the back of my mind for a few weeks. Finally managed to close this around Saraswathi Pooja. Could not get the right "Sa" in the last para, purists please forgive me. I did start writing something about Saraswathi and Ayudha pooja but have not had the patience to complete it.

வேதம் நான்கின் சாறெடுத்து
உபநிடதங்கள் பொருள் சேர்த்து
எளிமையாக வழி வகுத்து
கண்ணன் தந்த ஆரமுது

ஆடைகள் போல் உடல் மாறும்
அழியாதது ஆன்மா என்று
அழகான விளக்கம் தந்த
அச்சுதனின் அறிவமுது

பக்தியென்றும் ஞானமென்றும்
மார்க்கங்கள் இருந்தாலும்
இவையேதும் அறியாத
பாமரமனும் முக்தி பெற
இனிமையான வழி சொன்ன
பரந்தாமன் பெரும் படைப்பு

பலனைப் பற்றி எண்ணாமல்
கடமை தன்னை செய்து வந்தால்
கண்ணன் அடி ஸேர்ந்திடலாம் என்று
புதுமையான பொருள் சொன்ன
வாசுதேவன் நற்படைப்பு

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Life is all about ..

Life is all about living in the present. The past is always a comfort zone where one can hide. The future is something most of mankind cannot comprehend. Then how does one stay as fresh as a flower or the cool breeze or a spring? How does one carry on with changing generations, changing tastes, changing cultures?

Life is all about unlearning what one has learnt,learning what one has not learnt. Life is all about undoing what one has done, doing what one has not done.

Life is all about accepting change. Life is all about staying abreast with what is current.

Life is all about living in the present ..

Sunday, September 6, 2009

A Strange Caricature

I seemed to have caught Lord Shiva in an uncomfortable caricature like position. I am no cartoonist, so I thought I will describe what I saw. It appeared like he was trying to dance. Parvathy who had occupied half his body seemed to have decided not to cooperate. The third eye was open but it had lost fire. Ganga seemed to have changed course and was focussed on the lord immersing him in a shower. Maybe that had extinguished all the emanating flames from the third eye. The snake appeared to have lost itself enjoying the much awaited shower and was unknowingly strangling the lord slightly in his excitement. In my daze I forgot to take stock of the number of his hands but all of them seemed occupied somehow or the other. Just as I was trying to conclude that Lord Shiva seemed to be trying to balance too many things without making any compromise, I was startled by an irritating loud noise.

Shiva vanished just as he had come and there I was on my bed. I got up thinking of the strange dream and also the day ahead and the multiple things I would have to juggle. The form that I saw was definitely that of Lord Shiva but the face could be interchanged with any of the faces that I see in my day to day life. Aren't we trying to do too many things and struggling to strike a balance? The caricature I saw was that of a common man today. Don't ask me why I pulled Lord Shiva into this. I just narrated what I saw, but then isn't god supposed to be close to common man?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

An old note - Make each day count

Logging back into blogger after ages. I found this note saved in my drafts. I don't know why I started it and I don't know what to do with it. I thought of calling this note incomplete but then stopped short for I realized I didn't know what is complete! I leave it to you to decide.

I entered a maze several years back. I have come a long way and now there is no going back. The burden of my mistakes has grown over the years. Lost opportunities, missed paths which could have taken me there earlier.. there are X marks all over the place! Ah but it is not over yet! I still have time to get there and I want to make each day count.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

A Prayer

Logging into Blogger after ages thanks to Viral fever which has kept me occupied for a couple of weeks now. This one strangely is a kind of prayer coming from me out of the blue, maybe it's the viral fever that's doing this to me.

Give me knowledge to
set me free
Give me the passion to
fulfill my duties

Give me love to
light up other's lives
Give me the power
to wipe out suffering

Give me humour to make
others laugh
Give me the maturity to
laugh at myself

Give me character to
stand through tough times
Give me the courage to
stand by my principles

Give me success that
is not hollow
Give me the heart to
lose with grace

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The role of the media

There are two reports of hooliganism around the 60th Republic day of India

Violence in a Mangalore pub against women by a group called Ram Sena

Violence in Nashik by Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) against North Indians in a school celebration

While the big question remains as to whether our politicians will give up their fear for votes and take a stand on such religious outfits, who take law in their hands and do moral policing in the name of religion and tradition, I have another question which was triggered by a response from one of the Mangalore police officers to the media.

How does the media come to know of these things and arrive at the scene prompt with their video cameras and shoot all these incidents unattacked? While the media is focussed on creating scoops out of such incidents and publicisng this, why can't they be more responsible and inform the police or government whenever they get tip offs on such incidents?

Friday, January 23, 2009

Rain Rain don't go away

It has been raining for the past few days here. Rain always reminds of a few fond memories. Some happy moments that I have got embedded in my mind and associated with rain maybe in the subconcious mind.

My attempts as a child to make a paper boat float on the water collected on the road outside, futile attempts I should say but all the same fulfilling and unforgettable.

A cold rainy day in Bangalore in the 1980's spent visting all the parks that Bangalore is famous for, amazed at the beauty of the vast greenery around.

A joyous ride on a rickshaw along the marina beach on a windy day, protected by a plastic sheet hanging from the top but yet fully drenched, returning to home early because of a cyclone warning. What a wonderful feeling it is, as a child, to return early from school, that too unexpectedly.

Rain also reminds me of one particular place, a city that I have visited quite often, Belfast. Belfast greets me with rain almost everytime.

I have seen several people associate rain with something negative but I simply adore rain.That's why I feel Belfast welcomes me with rain. I know that on the contrary few other people would have dismissed it saying that the city cries whenever they happen to visit.

I have heard some people call the rain as the collective tears of all the gods above. Well it could be true in one way because Gods if they did exist must be definitely be unable to bear what man has done to the earth that they created. However even if rain was a god sent thing, I would call rain as showers of blessings from God to prevent the earth they created from being destroyed by mankind.

Rain is poetic. The sound of water lashing on the floor, the smell of wet sand floating in the air, buildings and trees soaked in water. buses floating on roads like big boats, the happy faces of children relieved at the prospect of not having to go to school, the sight of a rainbow stretched across the sky in all its splendour. These are unquestionably beautiful sights to see.

I hate the nusery rhyme "Rain Rain go away". I am sure it must have been written by someone with a very negative mindset. It is unfortunate that the song is so popular and is taught to all young children. Rain beyond doubt is something that should be enjoyed. Imagine how nice it would be to get drenched completely in rain. Unmindful the of the duties to be carried the next day, the attendance to school or office, the meeting that cannot be missed, unmindful of falling ill. I have always wanted to do it but have never done it so far. Maybe I will do it sometime soon.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Adsense and Pointclick - The difference in deployment

You must have noticed that I have added AdSense to my blog recently. This is how adsense works. For every click made by a reader on the ads displayed, AdSense pays the person owning the blog a percentage of the amount that it gets from the partner companies.

AdSense reminds me of a website called "". I am not sure if you have heard about it. It was one of those dot-com companies that came up when the internet was booming around year 2000 and crashed immediately in the dot-com crash. The concept was quite simple. You just had to register yourself in the website and after that for every click on the ads displayed in the website users would get 1 cent. The balance would be accumulated and the user had an option of either taking cash or spending the money on partner sites. If spent on purchasing products from partner sites like amazon each click would be worth 2 cents.

The idea is very similar to AdSense. However AdSense is a lot more well thought out. Ads are displayed based on the content and are made relevant to the blog or website hosting AdSense. They also have a lot of parameters to measure the effectiveness of ads performance which include CTR - Click through rate, eCPM - Effective cost per mille. Apart from this adsense also keeps track of the IP address from which the click is made and detects possible fraud as in repeated clicks, patterns etc.

Pointclick was very naive and had none of these. While the starting was good and they had 200 business partners and a lot of users and clicks they were not able to sustain it because they did not have a proper execution plan to back themselves. They did not take into account the fact that people can only click on the links endlessly by opening multiple browser windows and just make money without spending anything on the partner sites. In the end the partners were not getting enough business out of it , users were making endless clicks and had increasing dues which pointclick could not pay and finally the company had to close down.

Here is a news article from September 1999, the time when was started

This articles quotes the president of the company as saying "Our goal is simple -- we want to help companies increase online sales. That is why we offer cash incentives to those who purchase products in the PointClick Network"

It is a similar idea which AdSense has used now and deployed successfully. It is not enough if you have a good idea. You need to back it up with a proper execution plan when you deploy it.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Martin Luther King - I have a dream

Today is Martin Luther King day.

I had the fortune of listening to Dr.King's famous speech "I have a dream today", courtesy youtube. This is definitely one of the landmark speeches in the history of mankind. This speech is credited to have prompted the 1964 civil rights act. You must listen to the way it is delivered and the choice of words. It is simply amazing. Dr.King for sure had a sense of his place in history.

You can watch the video, which contains the full speech, here:

I have a Dream speech

America has come a long way from the time a black woman, Rosa Parks, was arrested for refusing to move out of a seat in the section reserved for whites, in a Montgomery bus. That was the event in 1955 which triggered Dr.King's civil rights crusade.

Nearly 54 years later an African American is less than 24 hours away from taking oath as President of America. King's dream has atleast been realised partially. America has come to a stage where people are not judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character and is about to take a great step towards the promised land, which King claimed to have seen in his last speech before assassination.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Indian IT's moment of truth

News about the Satyam fiasco is all over the place. Ramalinga Raju has given the media the much needed scoop after 26/11. Almost every news item and debate is around Satyam. At the same time Ramalinga Raju is cooling his heels in a jail, supposedly after refusing VIP treatment but using his political clout to keep away from the law.

While the Satyam fiasco has come as a rude schock and raised questions on corporate governance in India and the credibility of Indian IT companies, I think it is good one way. It has given a chance to revisit the laws and put in measures to enforce regulation and compliance. After all while it is great to remind oneself of all the feathers in his cap and keep flying high, one also does need some thorns once in a while to prick and bring back to reality.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Life - A Poem

I woke up with this poem half formed in my mind today.

In my dreams ..

I am free like a bird
and soar higher and higher
I walk up great stages
and receive awards
I deliver big speeches
and get applauded

When I wake up ..

I am full of hope
and waiting for the new day
I am raring to go
and realise my dreams
I take up my tasks with
passion and perfection

I go to Sleep ..

Thinking of the day by gone
and the dreams far away
Brought to earth sometimes
by the absurd world
Dented or Polished but
my hopes still alive

This is my Life ..

I am like the waves that
keep coming to the beach
In pursuit of dreams that
one day I will reach
Sometimes high and sometimes low
relentless at heart all the same though

JK's poem and The Bhagavad Gita

I was talking about J.Krishnamurthi's views on names and his poem in my earlier post. Here is the full poem:

I have no name,
I am as the fresh breeze of the mountains.
I have no shelter;
I am as the wandering waters.
I have no sanctuary, like the dark gods;
Nor am I in the shadow of deep temples.
I have no sacred books;
Nor am I well-seasoned in tradition.
I am not in the incense
Mounting on the high altars,
Nor in the pomp of ceremonies.
I am neither in the graven image,
Nor in the rich chant of a melodious voice.
I am not bound by theories,
Nor corrupted by beliefs.
I am not held in the bondage of religions,
Nor in the pious agony of their priests.
I am not entrapped by philosophies,
Nor held in the power of their sects.
I am neither low nor high,
I am the worshipper and the worshipped.
I am free.
My song is the song of the river
Calling for the open seas,
Wandering, wandering,
I am Life.
I have no name,
I am as the fresh breeze of the mountains.

A beautiful poem in simple words. This poem I believe is about God or maybe the "real God". It can also be thought to be about truth or life. In one way we can also think of this as the song of the free soul which has attained salvation. Not sure what your interpretation is.

"I am the worshipper and the worshipped" seems to convey that god resides in everyone and one has to look inwards for answers.

I find a lot of similarities between this poem and what Lord Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita, particularly in chapter 7, Gnana Vigyana Yoga. This is the chapter I have blogged about earlier and the one I learnt, courtesy my daughter's Gita competition.

Here is an extract from Chapter 7, verses 7-11:

O Arjuna, there is nothing higher than me
Everything in the universe is strung on me
Like pearls on the thread of a necklace.

O Arjuna, I am the pleasant flavour in the water,
I am the radiance in the sun and the moon,
The sacred syllable OM in all the Vedas,
The sound in the ether,
And the manhood in men.

I am the sweet fragrance in the earth.
I am the heat in the fire,
The life in all living beings,
And the austerity in the ascetics.

O Arjuna, know Me to be the eternal seed of all creatures.
I am the intelligence of the intelligent,
And the brilliance of the brilliant.

I am the strength, that is
Devoid of lust and attachment, of the strong.
I am the desire (Kaama) in human beings
That is in accord with Dharma, O Arjuna.

Elsewhere in the Gita it is also said that:
The Atma is neither born
Nor does it die at any time,
nor having been it will cease to exist again.
It is unborn, eternal, permanent, and primeval.
The Atma is not destroyed when the body is destroyed.

The only difference is that superstitions have sprung in between and distorted the message of the Vedas and Upanishads (of which the Gita is an essence).

I think that though JK in one way has only reinforced the message of the past, his poem is also about condemning the superstitions that have crept in during the centuries in between and have become the order of the day.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

An Ode to the regular readers of my blog

Day after day you
keep coming to me
With confidence and hope
you simply flatter me!

A semblance of sense that's
what you want to see
An year has gone by but I know
it is still not to be!

Blogger and Tiwtter are
tools that unleash me
Your fortune or misfortune
you certainly cannot flee!

I hail you oh reader my
heart goes out to thee
Do not stop coming you
are like the moon to me!

Remembering Shelley - To a Skylark

I was reminded of Shelley today, though I have never read Shelley to a great extent. Don’t ask why.. I have told several times before that weekends do something strange to me.

I read the poem “To a Skylark” again and again. This was perhaps the inspiration for Subramanya Bharathy’s kuyil paattu. I don’t want to take away the beauty of Shelley’s words by giving my description but would just like to say that I am left with much the same feeling as Shelley himself in this poem where he says:

Teach us, sprite or bird,
What sweet thoughts are thine:
I have never heard
Praise of love or wine
That panted forth a flood of rapture so divine.

I will leave you with closing lines of this poem:

We look before and after,
And pine for what is not:
Our sincerest laughter
With some pain is fraught;
Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought.

Yet if we could scorn
Hate, and pride, and fear;
If we were things born
Not to shed a tear,
I know not how thy joy we ever should come near.

Better than all measures
Of delightful sound,
Better than all treasures
That in books are found,
Thy skill to poet were, thou scorner of the ground!

Teach me half the gladness
That thy brain must know,
Such harmonious madness
From my lips would flow
The world should listen then, as I am listening now!

Hope you listen now as I listened then!
If you are interested you can read the full poem here:

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A sudden interest in History

I used to hate History in school. It was mainly because of the dull way in which it was taught to me, as merely a collection of events with more stress on memorising dates. Sometimes when you have bad teachers you end up hating the subject as well.

My interest has suddenly turned to history now.

Why should one study history, I wonder. Isn't history all about cold blooded murders in the name of war? Isn't history more about singing the glories of so called "heroes" who killed hundreds and thousands of innocents in the name of war? Well it is and it is no longer worth reading history just to show off ones ability to remember dates and events.

I feel that history should be studied so that we are reminded of the barbarism that is still left in mankind inspite of the centuries gone by, to understand how one person's eccentricity or someone's selfish interests can send a nation to war . History should be studied so that we are reminded of the indifference that is so much a part of people how much ever educated they might be. Starting from indifference to what is happening to one's neighbour, indifference to the suffering of others, to indifference to who is ruling ones country.

History helps in knowing about cultures and the events that have shaped different races of people and made them what they are. History is more like what one learns from his bosses. In my opinion one learns more on how things should not be done than on how things should be done from his bosses.

I don't know if this is right but I find history interesting when I approach it by first understanding the main characters involved.

World War II is a lot more interesting when you understand Hitler's eccentricity and his fascist intentions to create extra space for Germans in Europe, Hitler's political genius in constantly projecting the versailles grievances to justify his every move, Stalin's selfishness in expecting the war between Hitler and France / England to prolong so that soviet can benefit, churchill's remarkable oratory powers which rallied and uplifted the whole British nation in an hour of crisis.

I don't know if this is the right way to learn history but I like it. My mind is full of questions and I have a lot of secrets to uncover thanks to a wasted student life spent hating history!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Another year gone

Ah .. another new year. I just finished musing about life and the need for decisions every moment. Years pass and leave me enriched mostly, they leave me depleted sometimes but always a year older and with an increase in the amount of white hair on my head. Another year gone!

Going back to my favourite poem Ulysses about which I blogged earlier

Maybe Ulysses (or Tennyson rather) sang thus on new year eve when he was musing about life and wondering about getting older with the passing year like me.

I am a part of all that I have met;
Yet all experience is an arch wherethro'
Gleams that untravell'd world whose margin fades
For ever and forever when I move.

and then took a new year resolution

To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

Another interpretation.. Good poetry is that which reflects your mind.

Life is a matter of choice

Life is always a matter of choice.

Take something as simple as buying a donut for a pound. Do you want Sugar or Cinnamon? Do you need a topping? Chocolate or Strawberry? Phew.. Imagine a trip to Starbucks. Mocha .. Regular, Tall or Grande? With Cream? Decaf?

Life is all about choice.

Should you sit and stare at the monitor or Should you go home and spend time with your little one?

Should you align to your boss and take nonsense or Should you stand firm and confront him when he is wrong?

Should you sit back and watch the present become past or Should you step ahead and create the future?

Should you stay in touch and keep abreast or Should you shut yourself up and live in the past?

Should you note down an idea and share it with others or should you just let it go?

Should you post a comment for this post or should you choose to remain silent?

Life is all about choice.. Life is all about decisions.. starting from small things to big things. We take decisions every moment, we falter every moment but then we learn and continue.