Monday, October 24, 2005

Drop your guard

Growing old is tough. You have all these beliefs, opinions, prejudices, experiences that keep piling on to the baggage that is you. The baggage just keeps growing. You learn a lot of things, think in a certain way, are moved by certain things and work in a certain manner. Not everyone is going to operate in the same manner. There will be certain disagreements amongst people. Older people really dislike people who disagree with them.

Actually, I don't know if we are fine with that even when we are younger. Even then, we want things to happen our way. Only thing is that your baggage is less. You are still learning and exploring. New experiences is what you seek and most people at that age will answer a call from the unknown.

But then, you grow older and wiser. Actually, less stupid. But people don't believe that (that we just grow less stupid). We really think we are smarter than the rest. We think we have seen and done it all. Try new things, why? You might die doing something you haven't done repeatedly for all your life. Repetition is good. Monotony rules.

Because of our baggage, we are willing to give new ideas less chance. Differences lead invariably to conflict, even without any preliminary effort to seek knowledge from them. I don't like your opinion, so I don't like you. It's not even a question of you want to do things differently, but WHY do you want to do things differently. Can't we stick to our plan? Our well-rehearsed routine boring plan.

Part of it, is down to the fact that like kids in cars, we are in a hurry to get there. The journey is not important. Only the destination is. Literally, during our tours, we are in a hurry to cover locations. We have a perfect term for it. Point. Maine ye point cover kiya. Matheran main 6 point hai, dekhe kya? But what did we do there? How long were you there? Did you enjoy being there? Did you learn anything new?

A while ago, I was at an Indian classical music workshop (unfortunately my only one) and the lady conducting the session told us something that I will never forget. "Drop you guard".

Our baggage justs stops us from that. In fact, drop your guard equals drop your baggage. Give in to the moment. Because of the fact that we are not in the moment whole-heartedly, we don't allow the experience to soak in. We have already decided that this new thing we are doing, isn't worth our time. So, let's get it over and done with and move on to the next new thing. The cycle repeats.

Only when you drop your guard, can you allow a sense of wonder to fill in. Let what you are doing, where you are, shape the moment. Not how you feel about it. That you can dissect later. Right now, just enjoy the fact that life is doing something wonderful to you.

I also went to London this weekend.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Marathi baana

Maharashtrian entrepreneur is an oxymoron, which has stood the test of time. Marathis are known to limit themselves to vada-pav gaadis, khanaval, catering (bhaaji poli), selling agarbattis and kalnirnay calendars. I dont know what it is about us, that makes the breed so risk averse.

I mean, that the whole people in a particular geographically demarcated area should be satisfied with doing dreary babu-work (and actually covet jobs as a clerk), and be jealous of his jaat-bhaai's success and wealth.

So, this is good news. May more entrepreneurs be spawned by this initiative. Let Marathi bandhav and bhaghini not think about job security, karmachi fale (fruits of karma) and fling away any fear of failure.

Now, one (one because I know only one person who reads my blog) would say "Why don't you quit your job?"

Well, my family astrologer has told me that I am not business type. If I start a dhanda, it will not succeed (my sister was thought to be very shrewd and business-minded). I should not be trusting him much, because his prediction about my marriage didn't come true. But still I am wary.

But seriously, since their is enough financial security going (the 2-b-wife can earn), I am inclined to quit and go lurking into the unknown.

Don't know when. Dont know if.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Resolved by Biztact

Due to Amish's untiring efforts, finally blogger issue is resolved.

The support from blogger has been non-existent.

Understand that it is free, but once you have tried all you can to fix the problem and still not able to find a solution, you would expect some help from the blogger tech support.

Seems like the problem was with the Hindi fonts and for some reason, the publishing would get stuck at a certain percentage.

Will be back to blogging soon.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Blog down!

Blog is not working. I can't post. I can't republish. Blogger people wont reply to e-mails. When would it get solved? Just waiting!

Friday, October 07, 2005

I made it

I dont know how I made it here. But Amish, here is our 5 minutes in the 0.5 watt limelight.

Thanks Heather for the info

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

What did I say?

Today HT headlines bestows upon Mumbai the honor of being amongst the least liveable cities. Clap clap, clap slap, slap slap!!.

FORGET SHANGHAI, Mumbai ranks just above Bogota, Tehran, Dhaka and Lagos: the worst cities in the world as far as liveability is concerned. A new survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) assessing the "liveability" of 127 cities worldwide has found that Mumbai is among the most wretched cities.

My proposal for "Resurrection of Mumbai". Meanwhile, run while you can. Practise in the 2006 Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Sky-Dive No 1.

Saw "Howl's Moving Castle" this Saturday. Weird, convoluted still magical, in its own way.

Have seen Spirited Away earlier by the same director Hayao Miyazaki

Sunday, my first tandem-jump from 10000 feet. A slow ascent in a small plane with 10 of us cramped in. Then a push and 1 mile of free vertical fall into the clouds below. 15 ft/s of descent with the parachute open. Wasnt that scary at all. Obviously, I will do more jumps - tandem or solo sky-dives. One of the reasons is that my first one wasnt so perfect. Got sick on the way down and it wasnt pretty.

Damn those chips, which I hastily wolfed down before the flight!

Uncle Sam Mange more

Bush asks Americans hesistantly to cut down on petrol. And the whole thing is so tentative and feeble. We don’t want Americans to think, we want to save environment, do we? I mean, reduce consumption and think about ecological balance. How BS is that.

What is with the Americans? Before Bush administration, the number of SUVs in US was 2 million. Now it is 80 million. That is a startling figure. Petrol and gas is a scarce natural resource and the path to tread is to adopt technologies that embrace eco-friendly sources of energy AND stem the excessive consumption of fossil fuels. Not ply to office through monstrous traffic jams in a fuel-guzzling beast.

Just look at the cockiness of this…

In 2001, Vice President Dick Cheney said, "Conservation may be a sign of personal virtue, but it cannot be the basis of a sound energy policy." Also that year, Ari Fleischer, then Mr. Bush's press secretary, responded to a question about reducing American energy consumption by saying "that's a big no."

"The president believes that it's an American way of life," Mr. Fleischer said.

I believe this partly is a problem with capitalism. There are great benefits and advantages that stem for this ideology. It encourages healthy competition, innovativeness, allows corporations to bring out products that make life easier and simpler. It promotes new ideas, wealth and prosperity.

But we also have to realise that a free market is essentially a run-away engine. It feeds on MORE. To keep growing the businesses, the consumers need to consume more and for that, you need to push your products more.

Yes, things do get cheaper, but that is a problem. There is an alarming tendency to flog and use items in a dispensible manner. Case in point is Primark, the largest clothes retailer on the UK high street. You get good quality shirts for £4, trousers for £10, undergarments for £3. Prices continue to drop, because though Primark maintains a decent quality, it continues to source material from cheaper suppliers all over the world. Add to that, you have innovation in fabric technology - so you have clothes made of teflon and acrylic. What this actually promotes is use of clothes as a readily disposable commodity. I mean, you just buy whole lot of stuff during one shopping spree (I couldnt find a fitting room after 30 min wait) and if the clothes don't fit, just throw them away. Wear it once, it feels outdated, go buy new stuff.

Marketeers are brain-washing the consumers into instant outdated-ness. They will tell you that the clothes you bought today are so out of fashion and you have to get rid of them NOW. Creating micro segments in every category so even in clothes, you have party-, evening-, casual-, sports-, outdoor/picnic-, formal-wear. Some of it is understandable, but imagine a few years ago, where was the thrust to own such a variety of clothing? It's not so much that a market exists for niche or unconventional pursuits, rather, it is created, nurtured and encouraged to keep the sales coming in.

Because of massive choice for the buyers, the manufacturers have to be innovative and invent new ways to attract customers. This is great as we get some innovative products that are genuinely useful. But many a times, its the same wine in different bottle. Packaging costs more than the products these days. Then, the quest to sell more and more to keep growing. 3 for 2 offers, 30 % extra, £5 off if we spend £100 or more and so on. The consumer is constantly "asked" to buy more to get a feeling that he is saving. Actually, most things he thus buys rot in his fridge or closet.

My grouse is essentially there is mindless exploitation of natural resources to feed the sophisticated tastes of this generation. That we can afford them doesn’t justify its use. Because, of the economic and the political clout, most of the environmental cost (of manufacturing and waste-disposal) is borne by the poor countries. But, how long can we stay insulated in such a globally connected world - physically as well as electronically. Smog from Chinese mainland regularly slips over HongKong casting a gloomy shadow over the newly opened Disneyland.

Capitalism equated to consumerism is unsustainable. There are riches that we fail to explore as we live today, before we jump on to newer quests and want newer things (peddled by the market forces) from life. The want for more will surely pave the way for the inevitable, sooner than expected.