Thursday, February 19, 2009

True Love does not exist.

Heres a nice story that popped out of a friend's email:
A young man called Ramaswami died an untimely death. His parents, wife and nine year old son were crying bitterly, sitting next to his dead body. They all happened to be disciples of a holy man whom they called 'Maharaj Ji'. When Maharaj Ji learnt that Ramaswami had died, he came to visit the family. He entered the house and found the family wailing inconsolably. Seeing Maharaj Ji, the wife started crying even louder. She sobbed saying, "Maharaj Ji, he has died too early, he was so young. Oh! I would do anything to make him alive again. What will happen to our son? I am so helpless and miserable." Maharaj Ji tried to pacify the crying lady and the old parents, but the loss was too much for them to come to terms with so easily. Eventually, Maharaj Ji said, "Alright, get me a glass of water." Maharaj Ji sat near the dead body and put the glass next to it. He said, "Now, who ever wants that Ramaswami should become alive again may drink this water. Ramaswami shall come back to life, but the person who drinks the water shall die!"
"Come, did you not say that Ramaswami was the sole breadwinner of the family? Who would die instead of him? It is a case of fair exchange, isn't it?" The wife looked at the old mother and the old mother looked at the wife. The old father looked at Ramaswami's son. But no one came forward.
Then Maharaj Ji said to the old father, "Babuji, wouldn't you give your life for your son?" The old man said, "Well, I have my responsibility towards my wife. If I die who will look after her? I cannot offer my life to you."
Maharaj Ji looked questioningly at the old woman and said, "Amma?" She said, "My daughter is due to deliver her first baby. She will be coming to stay for a month. If I die who will look after her and the newborn. Why don't you ask Ramaswami's wife?"
Maharaj Ji smiled and looked at the young widow. She widened her tear filled eyes and said, "Maharaj Ji, I need to live for my son. If I die, who will look after him? He needs me. Please don't ask me to do this." Maharaj Ji asked the son, "Well little boy, would you like to give your life for your father?" Before the boy could say anything, his mother pulled him to her breast and said, "Maharaj Ji, are you insane? My son is only nine. He has not yet lived his life. How could you even think of such a thing?"
Maharaj Ji said, "Well it seems, that all of you are very much needed for the things you need to do in this world. It seems Ramaswami was the only one that could be spared. That is why destiny chose to take him away. So shall we proceed with his last rites? It's getting late."
Having said that, Maharaj Ji got up and left.

Moral of the story : Love lasts as long as life exists.
The magic of life is the living's evolved instinct for survival. Put any person in a situation that forces him/her to trade his/her life for somebody else's , the first instinct will be to deny one's own. Its probably a primate instinct that has left its unwashable strain on our genes. The survival instinct is a very basic form of self-interest. The latter lasts as long as got lasts. Where's "self" without life?
Hence, the moral of the story should probably read as: Self interest lasts as long as life lasts.
Now we have two morals for the same story and both are accurate implying that the two words "Self-interest" & "Love" are substitutable. Possibly, at a philosophical level they are synonyms. They mean the same. If that'd be the case, then one can safely conclude that "True Love"(a state of unconditional love) does not exist.

India tour to NewZealand- A curtain raiser

Moving onto their eighth tour to New Zealand in last forty years, the Indian cricket team appears confident while showing off their new deep-blue jersey on the modelling ramp. While confident talk is one thing, performance on the field is different.

A glance at India's performance in the last seven tours reveal that India has won only 4 out of 18 test matches & 6 of out 20 ODIs played against New Zealand on their home grounds. India's first tour in '67-68 was a successful tour where India's famous spin trio knocked out the Kiwis 3-1 in the test series. The first tour was historic because that was India's first overseas series victory in 12 attempts. Since then, India has never won a series in New Zealand. Their last outing in 2002-03 was a disaster as India lost the test series 0-2 & the ODIs 2-5. India has not played a T20 in New Zealand. For that matter, India has played just one T20 match with New Zealand . That was during the T20 World Cup in 2007. There too, India had lost and it was their only loss in the tournament.

Tendulkar feels that the condition in New Zealand will be windy & harsh while the comeback bowler Balaji is hungry to perform in the tests irrespective of the conditions. Srinath who played in the disastrous 2002-03 series, thinks that the "drop-in" pitches were the source of problems. John Wright,the Indian coach in 2002-03, is of the opinion that India's present bowling attack led by Zaheer,Ishant & backed by quality spinners like Harbhajan, Sehwag will prove decisive for India. Dhoni & Kirsten,the present Indian coach, are content with the right balance in their team.

The NewZealanders are match fit after some good showing against the Windies & the Aussies and will be taking on India on more than equal terms since they are playing at home. While the quality of pitches could possibly be a factor to tweak with, for New Zealand; the pressure is on India to perform & rewrite history after 40 years.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Corporate Governance in India & the Truth about its knotty Network

This article , on the new face of Indian corporate governance, by the Nasscom chief is timely and well articulated. The incident at Satyam has once again focussed attention on the single biggest scourge that afflicts "India Inc"(or "Corporate India").They are the murky dealings of corruption that goes behind scrupulously dressed financial statements of the listed as well in unlisted (more so) companies.The separation of the posts of Chairman and CEO is an excellent recommendation as that brings in that extra dimension of accountability in the actions of a wayward CEO. Ganesh also recommends that companies in other industries should follow the path of "disclosures" pioneered by the "paragons" in the IT industry. Maybe the paragons should also take the lead in disclosing the practices & financial statements followed by their "Channel Partners", the final interface with the customers. The market is aware of many instances where murky dealings with end customers are handled not by the company but by their channel partners. Its a clever move to keep one's state clean while the "business" goes on as usual. In 2009 , the role of "Government" will be doubly important as it will be the biggest customer & spender for India Inc. Nasscom should be proactive in ensuring that these deals with the government are clean in their entirety.
Secondly , a cursory look at the boards of various NGOs (specially the ones floated by corrupt business tycoons) would probably throw up the Who's Who of IT industry among others. One wonders whether such eminent individuals do have significant quality time to devote , at least in board meetings if not in the operations, of these well-connected NGOs. My experience while working in this sector shows that save for a handful, rest of these distinguished professionals don't have the time. What then can be the motivation for being there in the first place? When does "Networking" morph into an "Unfair Nexus"? When does association with eminent names become a legitimate excuse for committing oneself as one of the many funding-but- absentee directors; most of whom look at such NGOs as legitimate tax-saving bodies only? These are some of the straight-forward questions that NASSCOM should ask of its members who hold "absentee" board positions in multi-company, multi-NGO outfits. Otherwise, its advice to reach "higher truth in corporate governance" will sound like empty rhetoric.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Blogging and censorship in India.

I read somewhere that Blogging has become so addictive among the netizens, that around 550 million readers go through close to 200 million blogs. More than the numbers what is striking here is an establishment of a global environment which encourages free speech. India, too, has her share of bloggers on the net. The number of blogs , as reported by directory sites,is around 20000 upwards. Some statistics reveal that more than 90% of Indian blogs are in English.
Free speech flowing out of freedom of thought is not necessarily objectionable only in authoritarian societies as in China (which incidentally dominates the blogosphere with 73 million bloggers). 'Free speech' has its critics in India too. The sword of censorship can fall upon a hapless blogger in two ways.
Firstly, the Government can block group of websites through Department of Telecommunications (DoT) as it did here in July'2006. This is a formal way and has the support of an act passed in the parliament. Second is a more informal way where an individual blogger can be threatened with legal action to apologise for his free speech. This is an interesting story about a media personality who while straining her vocal chord about free speech could not accept the same about herself. The fracas resulted in an informal censorship where the blogger had to withdraw the post and post a detailed apology for all to see. The blogger community reacted quite spontaneously. Read the complete story & discussion here ; regular updates over here and a threat from a richie-rich broker-blogger to buy over the media house here.
Fortunately, the Internet also works in ways that can work around such bans. These are some of the common ways.
On the first anniversary of my blog, here's wishing longevity to blogging and blog lovers all around the world.
Photo Source:The Blogger Cafeteria

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Smashing Sania Sundaram

For the historic Hyderabad city, 2009 had started badly with the "Satyam Saga Scandalam" of the now-disgraced Ramalingam Raju, who had once helped put Hyderabad on the international map of software geeks. Four weeks later, Hyderabad has shot back , even if briefly, to international fame thanks to Sania Mirza getting a Grand Slam trophy. Sania , partnering Mahesh Bhupathi of Bengaluru , lifted the Mixed Doubles trophy in the Australian open Tennis Final today vanquishing their opponents, Nathalie Dechy & Andy Ram, 6-4, 6-2 in less than an hour. While for Bhupathi this is his eleventh Grand Slam trophy, it’s the first one for Sania & Hyderabad city.
Leaving behind the poor show in the Beijing Olympics as well as niggling elbow and shoulder injuries in 2008, Sania played like a true champion today and was an equally able partner to Mahesh. Her cross-court shots from the base line got her few winners but what were most exhilarating to watch were her overhead smashes from the center of her court that walloped past the hapless Andy & Nathalie .
Hyderabadis would be joyous with their champion shahzadi.

Photo Source : Australian Open Championship 2009