Sunday, November 29, 2009
But, in the end, it was a pretty nice buy I guess. There was this nice cooler, black in colour, in a reasonable price range (not the super expensive variety) which had good curves and cuts and sat on my face pretty neatly. I thankfully got this opinion endorsed by a good friend of mine, who is a past veteran at buying Ray-Bans and eventually ended up buying it.
This is one of those purchases I never thought I would do. But well, feels good that I did!:) Good to know that these brands are now reaching the masses, so to speak!
Friday, September 11, 2009
As short and sweet as that!
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Let me get to the point. My essential thought is, in life, is money the greatest satisfier? Or, is that feeling of achievement, of having done something in one's life more satisfying (most satisfying)?
In order to see the merit of this case (there are de-merits), I have been looking at a cross-section of people from different walks of life. Sports, writers, etc. Now, most of the examples seem to be glamourous. But across disciplines, I notice that the sense of thrill, elation, and happiness of reaching the pinnacle of your discipline, seems to far override any thought of money. Let's take the example of a Wimbledon champion - any champion at the All England Club more often than not breaks into tears on his/her victory. Any cricketing World Cup champion is overcome with emotion of having conquered the world - just think back to 1983, when there was no money.
Think of other streams, the Oscar awards maybe - a chap like A. R. Rahman grabbing 2 Oscars and performing at the top of his mark on the world's biggest stage; or maybe, an author who wins say a Pulitzer or a Booker Prize; a scientist or an economist winning the Nobel Prize; other sportsmen breaking records held for years; historians cracking the code on ancient myths; painters creating that one masterclass item that will put them above others (why do we have only ONE Mona Lisa?); advertising gurus, trying to get that ONE ad right, all their lives.
Simpler things, like a mother seeing her kid reach the top of his/her stream; or, a kid jumping around if he/she wins a prize in a school competition or tops his/her exam; a banker or a consultant getting past tough competition and scoring points with a hard client; a child's dream coming true - whatever it may be (Taare Zameen Par?); a childhood dream coming true; two people, a boy and a girl, growing up together, falling in love and getting married to each other; the birth of a kid; a student getting a rank in his/her university; winning a match or a competition for your school, college, university or country...the list is very long, and actually, endless.
In all this, I really do not see any evidence of the money factor adding to the thrill of the human being. As people, all of us have our dreams and aspirations (yes, monetary included, but not overriding, always). And, when we realise those dreams in real life, I doubt, if, at that moment of glory, one looks at the money. I am guessing that, that moment is for the person alone i.e. to sit back and relish the moment. Simply because he/she knows the amount of struggle that went into scaling that summit (whatever it may be).
Yes, the counter to this can easily be, that money is everything. But, for the truly passionate achievers, I would think, that money is a derivative; not the main thing.
Perhaps, there is no end to this argument. But, I would think, that for the truly passionate achievers, money is only a function or outcome of what they set out to do. Else, I doubt if the world would have progressed the way it has, across time i.e. if everyone wants ONLY money and no specific achievements, we would all be robots chasing currencies.
Like I said, an endless debate. But, I would think, that we need more passionate achievers, than currency-driven human beings. That is the one great way of ensuring progress. Else, money will come and go, people may not achieve enough to transfer a better life for the generations ahead.
Money, is passe. True achievement, makes life worth living.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Given this sudden turn of events, we were wondering what to do. We were not in the mood to go back home immediately. At the same time, we were not exactly well attired to go to any public place like a movie etc - after all, gym wear is not exactly presentable! We trudged out of the gym to my new car and were generally wondering what to do next.
Out of the blue, I suggested to Aravind that it might make sense to go on a long drive. Both of us are recent buyers of our first cars and he completely understood the excitement that I was hinting at! On the spur of the moment, we decided to go past Mysore Road and enjoy some music along the way. That was the start of a very sudden weekend getaway on this lovely Sunday afternoon.
We crossed the city limits in about 30 minutes and hit Mysore Road. I soon realised that this was the first time ever that I was in a car of my own, on a state highway. The road was immaculately laid out and the weather outside was quite magical. I was as excited as a small kid boarding his first flight and being greeted with chocolates by a good-looking air-hostess!
Given that both of us are travel maniacs, we quickly sized up the situation and realised that this could be a fantastic, quick/sudden trip that can be converted to a memorable one if we stretched a bit. While Mysore is a good 130 kilometres from Bangalore city and was a touch impractical to achieve (given that we were well into Sunday afternoon & had a Monday morning coming up!), we decided to go to Ramanagaram - about 25% of the way to Mysore.
Ramanagaram, as the average Indian Bollywood fan would know, is the venue of that giant of a movie shot in the 1970s-Sholay. This is exactly where the characters of Gabbar Singh, Jai, Viru, and Basanti hit national headlines and captured the imagination of the Indian populace. And for us to see those tall hills, big rocks, and the paths that led to the top of the hills was indeed exhilarating. What added to the spice of the afternoon was the beautiful cloudy weather, with a tinge of sunlight peeping through the skies.
I was particularly excited when the speedometer in my car hit 100 km/hour. To do that on Indian roads in my own car, was truly a moment to cherish. I had dreamt of that moment for years. The fact that it happened without any planning and with no hint of a trip coming up, made it particularly thrilling.
We crossed Ramanagaram and reached a place called Janapada Loka - translated in Kannada as the World of Janapada (a folk dance in Karnataka state). It was a lovely, low-key kind of a place run by the Government of Karnataka. The beauty of the place lay in the manner in which the history of the state was captured - it was a place that showcased the state's rich culture & heritage, had a museum full of old artifacts that were used in yesteryear in interior Karnataka, had colourful dolls replicating real-life artistes with great attire in folk dances etc. In particular, the magic of the Yakshagana form of art was brilliantly depicted in all floors of the museum.
Following the visit to Janapada Loka, we proceeded to the neighbouring building - Kamat Yatrinivas, one of the most famous restaurants in the state! There, we had great south Indian dosa, authentic Maddur vada (slurp!) and a coffee that was par excellence. For a non-coffee chap like me (tea -freak!), the coffee here was amazingly crisp and strong.
We finally trudged out of the hotel back onto the highway for our return journey home. The drive back to Bangalore was replete with a couple of rash drivers giving me an opinion or two about my safe driving on a highway + dumb auto-richshaws crippling the fast-moving traffic. Well, they need to understand that I was driving in a new car for the first time ever on a big highway! And in any case, even if I were a veteran highway driver, I don't think I will be a rash one.
I dropped Aravind at his place and came home directly. On reaching home, there was a sense of immense thrill and satisfaction of having driven a car on a highway and clocking very good speeds at that. An old dream, suddenly fulfilled. Like Aravind rightly said, the best thing to do in life is to take it as it comes - who in the wild world knew this morning that we would end up making a round trip of 100 kilometres, on the outskirts of Bangalore between 230 and 630 pm! That's life!!:)
Saturday, August 15, 2009
We now have economists, policy-makers, bank governors, analysts, financial engineering experts, TV anchors, news reporters, authors, and people from every discernible walk of life talking about how the economic recovery will pan out. Some call it the U-shape curve, othes say its V-shaped, and more creative ones say that it will be a W-shaped curve, driving all of us along the path of recovery!
While that may be technically true (in economics, at least), I find it hard to associate curves with alphabets like U, V, or W. I mean, curves are meant to be naturally admired and not defined into specific alphabets, isn't it? I mean, the last time I ever heard of curves being viewed, but never talked about too much was during Baywatch days!
Ok, I may have stretched it a bit in this piece, but well, I think we lightened our lives a wee bit, given the treachery of this recession around us.
Friday, July 10, 2009
Sunday, May 31, 2009
Betty is the type of girl that I would love to take home and introduce to my mom. She is down-to-earth, seems to have her priorities right & has her range of interests in life intact. So what if she is not as rich as that 'attitude-heavy' Veronica; Betty has character; Veronica has everything only from her dad with nil individuality. Ok, Veronica fans will counter by saying that she lives life king-size, can afford all the goodies in life etc. But, sorry, those things are ephemeral; Betty is the exact type of girl that I would call the most durable option a guy can ever consider.
Archie is someone I am fond of, yes. But, the guy has seriously lost it in terms of being dreamy-eyed about Veronica. It is like saying every single guy in India will not settle for anybody less than Katrina Kaif or the old heartthrob called Madhubhala or Madhuri Dixit.
Well, I think I need to get hold of this 600th edition of Archie comics. Been a while since I read it. But hey, Betty, don't you worry. You have enough number of guys out there that will root for you! Hang in there!
Saturday, May 16, 2009
But, irrespective of the party that has got the mandate, what is good for me to see is that India has voted in stability; a majority government. I was getting the strong feeling that the great Indian growth story that most pundits have been harping about for the last many years, was under severe threat, thanks to the constant bickering in the political class. More than anything else, fractured mandates always gave me the feeling that it was never economics at its best, but political convenience being accommodated into economic policies.
That should change now. And hopefully, the Congress will get a touch smarter and go into the government with some buffer i.e. not stop at the majority mark of 272, but go up to 300. Simply because they need to guard against elements such as Mamta Banerjee in this goverment. (remember the way she booted out the Nano project from Bengal?). I think she has 18 seats in Parliament from election. So if the Congress manages 300 seats, it will not be hurt even if Mamta misbehaves on the UPA's economic policies & threatens to back out- the Congress will still have 282! Am not trying to be pessimisstic, but realistic. Coalition politics has taught all of us in India, as to who is progressive and who is not. And it is better to take those lessons and be better off from such experience, as we enter a new phase of the Indian polity.
Of course, the best news for me is that the Left has been decimated. About time too, I would think. They are seriously not in sync with economic realities of the day. I mean, an average working class citizen cares a damn about regressive policies - he is bothered about his infrastructure, water, taxes, retirement kitty et al. Not some ridiculous trade unionist-led backward policies. Yes, those unions have their place in the economy - but more from a sense of participative & constructive dialogue with management/decision-makers/polity; not like the Left, who are so out of sync with economic realities. The anti-climax for me, is that the same leaders in the Left Front, live a very rich ostentatious life in New Delhi & talk about the lower classes and their lack of benefits in the trade unions. Hypocrisy at its best!
And to the man himself. Dr. Manmohan Singh. I had written a blog article about him a few years back in terms of not discrediting him etc. The man has gone about quietly doing his job, without compromising on his principles. He is also a classic example of a technocrat (NOT a politician) who knows what is good for India's economics. Singh is, indeed, King!
Let's see if this stable mandate translates into economic realities that we have been dreaming of & talking about for so many years. The Congress & the UPA combined cannot get a better platform than this to propel India well & truly into the 21st century. I live in hope now. The basics of the Indian polity has been restored - i.e. a majority mandate for a leading political party. That, I would think, is a good starting point.
Sunday, May 03, 2009
Every time a batsman scores a sixer or hits a boundary in the IPL, the crowd erupts. That has always been the case with cricket, right? At least, the one-day international variety of cricket changed the involvement of the crowds immensely at cricket stadiums. But, what we are seeing in the IPL is new. Something, all of us had seen on television while glued to the NBA action every year - those games had extremely colourful cheerleaders with their pom-poms & going berserk every time a three-pointer or an aggressive basket was scored.
We see that translated, adapted & now extended to cricket. Right, into our own game! That has created ripples in our midst, simply because, whenever a four or a six is hit, we now have cheerleaders leading the crowd with the cheers for the respective teams that they are supporting.
I am not too sure if these girls actually understand the game in depth (no offence meant to the fairer sex!), but they have added immense colour to the way the fantastic game of cricket is celebrated. We now have dancing steps, pom-poms, mini skirts, sleeveless tops, songs, fast dance, tap dance, break dance, jumbo smiles and colour of various types to go with every smash hit to the fence by the batsmen, or, wickets taken by the bowler.
There are various types of cheerleaders too - the extremely vivacious, the pretty, the genuine beauties, dance experts, others who are there for sheer flamboyance & looks etc (am not getting into the details in public!). There was a commentator recently in one of the IPL matches who said that the batsmen were incentivised to hit the big shots towards the cheerleaders & getting the momentum in their favour! Now, that's called incentive, for sure!!
The whole thing may be an outcome of successful sports marketing (a field I'd love to be involved in)! And it has changed the way the game is being celebrated. More than anything, the IPL has combined fantastic marketing with the thrills of man's old celebration, dancing. And to get to do that in a global scale, in front of the whole world, in extremely regulated conditions (no obscenity allowed, technically!) has changed the crowd's involvement in the game. I wonder if this can be extended to badminton, hockey, or football...!
Friday, May 01, 2009
It was a unique show where these 2 vastly admired gentlemen demonstrated how their temperament and personalities are so diverse, yet, effective towards the things they do. These two guys were at Harvard, that famed institution, giving out tips to current students from various streams, about how they got to where they did in. And not all of what they said was purely related to their work life - there were good jokes, extremely good one-liners, talk about deeper issues affecting mankind, what are some of the mistakes they made, how their average work day looked like, the real story behind the first time they met in 1991(Bill nearly didn't make it as he was busy in office) et al.
I found the show quite freewheeling in nature, where young to-be-graduates asked these two men questions, only to try and learn what worked for them so very well in their lives. I particularly found Warren Buffet to be extremely chirpy.I thought he had a brilliant presence of mind to quip and create some sensational humour on stage that had the students in peals of laughter.
Very nice show, CNN. Well done. The punch line for me was Warren Buffet's answer to the last question by a student, 'how do you measure success?'. The investment banking legend said, when you are old, my age, and have friends & family and business associates still caring for you and loving you and making time for you (though they may not have the time), that is the biggest success possible; 'coz everything else, is passe.
I just feel that the lessons learnt from the last 8 months will lead us to a world that will be quite regulated. More than anything else, I am convinced that we will enter a world that will restore some level of sanity in the way business is done. The economic boom for a majority of the time in the last 2 decades, had led to wild business excesses that were never caught in the light of the good times. But, the current recession has taught us that bad things will be found out eventually & people will have to pay a price for continuous excesses.
I therefore think, that in a strange way, this killer recession of 2008-09 was a much needed correction factor for the business world to be given a serious wake up call. I just hope the lessons learnt now are only used to create a saner environment in the future (am convinced, it is required).
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Pretty intriguing choice of panel too - an ex banker turned writer, an RJ, a VJ, a student from a famous Mumbai college and a student from one of the famous Mumbai families. AND, in all this, Shashi Tharoor, joining in remotely via satellite.
While the debate was animated and the young panel was pretty cut & dry in stating their expectations. But Shashi Tharoor held his own in all this - he understood outsourcing and its current backlash, showed enough knowledge about the interiors of India being plagued by unemployment etc. All this was a bit of a surprise to me, as I did not expect this up-market diplomatic veteran to be so well-versed with intricacies in India.
The punchline for me was from Shashi himself. He said, "People claim that I do not know Malayalam and have problems in connecting with my people in Thiruvananthapuram. But, I only have to say that I know enough Malayalam to understand your problems and even more, I know the right English and Hindi that will work for you in the Lok Sabha".
I just hope these are not mere words by a man who has generally been perceived as India's greatest diplomatic success - after all, reaching the position of the under-secretary of the UNO is no joke!
We need more such people. And to see the ABN Amro India Country Manager, the former CEO of Deccan Airways and this former UN diplomat, might just be the right triggers the Indian political system needs. My logic is that when veteran political foxes in India talk about banning English or banning computers etc, hopefully, this new breed of progress-oriented candidates, can keep the old foxes in check.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Yes, there are the fair claims of the country's general election being greater than any sporting event. There are also justified claims for prioritising national security over everything else. But what I have serious problems with is the utter arrogance towards the average citizen. Ok, the government may tell Lalit Modi and his franchise owners, that they are rich enough anyway, and don't need the IPL to fill their coffers. But, for the average citizen in the country who generally struggles to make a living, this concept of unadulterated, fantastic, action-packed entertainment (that was such a great marketing success as well), will now only have to be enjoyed on television.
I just wish the government did a little more about security. There are countries I know which make it mandatory for every citizen to work in the army for 2 years, as soon as he turns 16 years old. I wonder if such a system can ever come to India and, even if it does, if it will create that much-needed lift and drive to serve in the Indian armed forces.
Its all load balancing at the end of the day. We need sports; the politicians need their seats. While businessmen are smart enough to find avenues and alternatives to serve their cause, the Indian public is always left with a set of either corrupt,, or inept, or unwilling, or crime-tarnished individual seats, who hold the powerful seats in New Delhi. I just wish we had a better choice of candidates to elect from when we go to vote. Granted, everyone should vote and make their statement; but, if the very choices on the voting table are between corrupt, inept or unwilling folks, then, I wonder what the solution is.
I am disturbed at this ridiculous development today. High time the armed forces were positioned as super-premium careers, rather than a punishment in extreme conditions for the average Indian. Maybe, we should set up a legal or constitutional qualification that ALL ministers in the central and state government should have served for 2 years in the Indian army, that too at the border (near Pakistan), before they qualify to contest an election!
That was the new age of public sector banking right in front of my eyes - swanky office, air conditioned, fantastically user-friendly counters, friendly staff, highly computerized, good interiors, nice ambience and excellent service to boot.
And with FM radio, it sure is a catchy way of getting the generation next to bank with them!
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
I say this simply because, people have found their new freedom in expression, that was absent all these years. The fact that they choose to exercise their freedom has no bearing on any remote allegation of their having forgotten their roots. Granted, some of these celebrations may not be in true Indian taste, but that is part of the transformation that is sweeping the country. We are becoming an increasingly global country. V-day is just one part of that transformation. It does not mean that we have forgotten our roots.
I am very much a part of the youth brigade in this country (defined as folks below 40!) and am eminently aware of my roots. At the same time, I see the reasons for the Pink Chaddi campaign hurled at the likes of Pramod Muthalik - people want to tell such folks not to interfere in the youth's expression and freedom.
This may have been a very crude way of making the Muthaliks of the world to eat humble pie, but I also think that it was a fantastic, peaceful and highly impactful way of putting the point across. Just imagine receiving endless pink panties as a V-day gift....that's exactly what Mr. Muthalik will remember for life - hopefully, as a scar that drives sense into his maniacal stand!:)
Monday, February 23, 2009
What a guy - immaculate, perfectionist, hard-working, sincere, committed, down-to-earth (to the point of being boring!) and extremely passionate about his art - almost the perfect recipe to scale the earth
Hats off to you, AR...I cannot tell you how proud I am of your achievement at the Oscars 2009. You are truly India's musical brand ambassador around the world.
May you show the way for more stars in India, in the future. Jai ho! Jai Hind!!
Sunday, February 22, 2009
I am not referring to a pair of human beings and their love story here, but am talking about the fantastic symbiosis between the sitar and the tabla. They have fascinated me since a tender age, and I have only grown to appreciate them more as I have grown older myself! There is something amazingly soothing about them, operating together - seems to bring a certain peace; a vast reservoir of love, alive; a full expression to latent talents; a fantastic mode of expressing oneself; an uncomplicated, unadulterated kind of companionship, with no malicious intent beneath. They just enjoy each other's company. I find it thoroughly enjoyable!
The strings of the sitar are really one of a kind and that 'tone' of the tabla sends me into a different zone - I almost forget myself & the things around me, when I listen to them together. The variety of the pitch that the strings of the sitar bring out, gel so well with the adjusting beats of the tabla. It is seriously thrilling to note that when the tabla-wadak (player) shakes his head vigourously and pounds with melody on his magical 'drummy' instrument, the crowd just focuses on the phenomenal expression on display. Even the sitar player constantly gazes at the tabla-wadak and appreciates his energy!
And when the sitar hums its different tunes in different types of music, it’s amazing how the tabla can adapt itself to such diversity. Be it classical, carnatic, hindustani, western classical, fusion music or even jazz - the ability of the sitar to hit the highest/lowest pitches and hit you at the deepest corners are brilliantly tied in with the ability of the tabla to keep the beat of the music at a steady/high/low pace. It changes your mood. It makes you feel extremely good. And it just makes you appreciate how versatile these 2 magnificent instruments really are.
Possibly, the best thing I like is the exchange of smiles between the sitar player and the tabla-wadak ever few seconds during a concert. A lot goes on in exchanging those smiles - musical knowledge, indication of a change of tune, pure appreciation for each other's talent, hints to create a variation within the existing tune, you name it. (I am not a sitar player or a tabla-wadak, and am only guessing logically from what I have seen on stage!).
They are a great couple. Just makes your heart dance to their tunes- and it is one of the few things worth listening to, every now & then. The standing ovations are really earned...
Sunday, February 15, 2009
The greatest moment of the day was not actually on display in the air, but right on ground zero. There were scores of uniformed men patrolling the entire expanse of land that housed the planes and passers-by. As we were walking under the blazing heat, there were a bunch of people who were taking photographs with an armed officer. My defence analyst friend, Brijesh, also went up to him and posed for a couple of photographs with him - only to return stumped! That armed officer had 4500 sorties on his uniform i.e. he had flown a fighter plane 4500 times in his life, successfully i.e. returned alive! That just made all the hair in my body stand erect - out of sheer respect for the man. Just imagine the kinds of situations he would have undergone in his life; the kinds of enemies he may have encountered in his life; the kinds of conditions he would have operated under; and the sheer horizon and level of thinking that he would have. Mind-blowing. Just made me appreciate and respect the uniformed officer of India that much more - as against the bashing that I have seen on TV shows. Hats off to such people!
Tuesday, February 03, 2009
In all this, we seem to have forgotten the basic theory that world is a lot more global than it ever was in its history. It has taken us this sort of a severe beating to realise that classical economics no longer holds true i.e. supply will find and be matched by demand, purely by market dynamics. That was the old school. The Keynesian rules are far different from that - the market needs regular checks & balances, lest it crashes.
I am not great professor of economics (though it is my all-time favourite subject!). But, this market theory has just been seen in theory and in real life in the last year or so. How many of us envied those pin-striped i-bankers with jet-setting lives and making a few million bucks by selling the most complicated (so-called) equity reports. B-schools harped on i-banking placements, whenever consulting firms took a dip. More often than not, these 2 industries were jostling for space in most top campuses with the aim to grab the 'cream' of the talent. Cream for sure they did - the entire world economy, that is!
Who is to blame? I don't know. Why am I even bothering to write about it, when I am not in Wall Street or never defaulted on a payment? Well, I don't know why I feel it - no facts to back them up - but I feel it. Our globalized world and ambitious currents just made us believe these guys way too much. We swore by them, almost. A Merrill Lynch stamp on an IPO was sacrosanct! These Wall Street guys were 'aspiration' for folks who did not get there. They represented the successes of a corporate life - the types dreams are made of. Jet-setting, five star life, CxO connection, partying, and the millions! The important things in life - or, so they seem from outside, anyway!:)
But, how many of us who interacted with these salaried-millionaires, managed to ask tough questions on each recommendation they made? I don't know, again. Maybe they were asked, maybe they were not. And maybe they were asked and answered to as well. I don't know.
But, I do know, that the shareholder and average citizen never knew anything beyond those flashy reports. And that, I know is where the accountability ended with these flashy i-bankers. They were out to make their buck (good for them, nobody denied it to them); but they lacked accountability; made recommendations in a bull run, that the underlying currents went unnoticed - by everyone: experts, decision-makers, clients, finance whizkids, CFOs, CEOs, stock brokers, economists, students, et al. That, I guess was the biggest mistake.
In a way, it is sad that the i-banking profession has been hit so hard. Who would have ever dreamt that a household name like Lehman Brothers - ah, that dream placement for any MBA - would be history? But then - this is my conjecture again - alumni after alumni from every discernible business school, possibly did not correct the credit excesses of their predecessors?
I am not for once discounting the credibility or capability of these i-bankers. I am only thinking that maybe, nobody, just about nobody on the Street saw anything beyond his/her bonus. After all, the bonus is (rather, used to be), 5 times the salary of an average Wall Streeter!! We paid the price for THAT excess!
Now, the press and everyone else has enough ammunition to hurl at these erstwhile blue-eyed folks in the corporate world. We were possibly waiting for this sort of ammunition to hurl at them in our lifetime, anyway. Not because of the millions alone, but at a deeper level, for the 'gasbag/lack of accountability' they had.
The other day, my friend told me about the kind of rather discomforting reaction she received when she told somebody that her husband was an equity analyst - a once pristine profession! That, is a story in itself.
But, I firmly believe that it is not Obama's solo prerogative to solve things in the world. He alone cannot do it and should not be given the responsibility to do it. After all, what justice is it to overload one man with the problems of the magnitude that are confronting us today? Solving job losses, pay cuts, no hikes, drowning brands and companies that are household names, inflation, high interest rates, declining revenues, taxes, poverty, AIDS eradication, the I's (Iraq, Israel) and the K's (Korean) and the P's (Pakistan, Palestine), are just a few of the things on this man's 'to do' list.
What we need is a collective endeavour to attack the world's problem head on. There needs to be a greater and more actionable role for the UNO (after all, it was created in the height of the mess in the 1940s', right?). We also need greater resolve from top funding agencies like the IMF, World Bank etc, in conjunction with banking institutions - and by that, I mean, exercising basic rules of credit checks while disbursing loans, be it a retail, government or corporate consumer.
I also feel that people around the world should stop saying that their solution is the only solution around. Liberalisation has brought this "know-it-all" attitude amongst a varied many, that can have a ripple effect (negatively) - as sound theory and alternate opinion will dissolve. For good opinions not to dissolve, I think we need a global central agency for policy reforms - not just country level. Some sort of a central authority that takes in inputs from various people around the world and presents the most actionable inputs to the 'powers-that-be' (Obama & his ilk). My reason is that, solutions may emerge even from the unfanciest of places possible and we need not always believe that pin-striped guys travelling in limos are the solutions to the world.
All in all, it is certainly not Obama's sole prerogative. He has a role to play. So do the rest of us.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Also, in the interest of cleaning up the system, the World Bank should ideally throw out all the names that it wants to de-list around the world, along with adequate proof. These nicely-worded press releases from PR gurus in the World Bank on de-listing companies will do no good. If anything, such press releases will only alert the other companies that are engaged in financial bungling to be wary of the World Bank. Such companies, in the light of such PR exercises by WB, might even end up cutting down on the business volume with this major financial institution and slowly fall out of the radar. That will still not stop fraud around the world.
Monday, January 12, 2009
The man has the humblest of beginnings possible. Not so much of a rags to riches story, but certainly an amazing success story of a man with extremely simple roots, who has reached the epitome of musical success. A.R. Rahman stunned me with his "Kaadal Roja Ve"(Tamil version) or "Roja Jaan-e-man" composition in 1992, that resonated so deeply inside me that I sit static whenever I see/hear that song even now. I guess, it was his way of announcing to the world that there was a supreme musical power from the south of the Vindhyas, ready to dismantle Illayraja from his iconic position; possibly, dismantle is too aggressive a word; take over from the Illayraja genius is more appropriate.
And take over he did. Rahman brought in some incredible sounds mixed in technology that created notes through the times that India liberalized and globalized. He put Indian music on the world map, pretty much by the dint of his own compositions. The man's contribution was so immense that he managed to bring in a Rs. 6 crore musical set from Germany into his troop, that doled out some of the most amazing compositions seen in the last 2 decades.
Golden Globe is one of the many glories that this genius has reached. Deservingly so! It always makes me proud to see an Indian take on the world and come out on trumps. More so, in the case of Dileep Raghavan (that's Rahman's real name, before he converted to a Muslim in 1989), because he beat the tide in an extremely tough era.
Also, I think there are some careers in India that started in the 1989-90 period which have gone on to stump the world in different spheres of life. Think cricket and you have Sachin Tendulkar and Anil Kumble; think chess, and you have the legend of Vishwanathan Anand; think music and I possibly cannot think beyond a Rahman. All these people have done yeoman service to the nation and deserve the accolades that they are getting.
Rahman has gone a notch higher, what with 3 nominations to the Oscars for his own contribution. I just hope, for the sake of billions of ambitious Indians, who are out to take on the world in the 21st century, this genius wins at least one award. It will be a fitting tribute to a man who changed the complexion, role and contribution of Indian music.
Three cheers to A.R.Rahman. Hip hip -hurray! Hip hip-hurray! Hip hip- hurray!