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Tuesday, February 23, 2010


How many times an individual faces the situation of conflict of interest for being a part of various social entities? An individual is himself an entity with his individual interests. He belongs to a family, which is again an entity. He works for an organization, which is another entity. He belongs to a nation, yet another entity. Now, he also belongs to the much larger entity i.e. the global definition of humanity.

An individual’s place within an entity entrusts him with certain obligations. But he belongs to different entities at the same time. More often than not, different obligations from different entities are not in sync with each other. Every individual continually survives balancing the obligations of his roles he plays by being a part of different entities he belongs to.

For instance, the obligations of his workplace at times intrude into his family obligations. In another situation, his obligations towards humanity might affect the obligations he owes to himself. Extrapolating this to other entities, it’s such a delicate balance of conflict of interests an individual is almost always subjected to.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


Making billions and giving away millions …This is how the iconic billionaire investor and philanthropist George Soros is best known for.

Loved his quotes (on the nature of markets) which I bounced upon.

The financial markets generally are unpredictable. So that one has to have different scenarios. The idea that you can actually predict what's going to happen contradicts my way of looking at the market.

Stock market bubbles don't grow out of thin air. They have a solid basis in reality, but reality as distorted by a misconception.

Markets are constantly in a state of uncertainty and flux and money is made by discounting the obvious and betting on the unexpected.

The worse a situation becomes the less it takes to turn it around, the bigger the upside. (don’t understand this one)

Markets are designed to allow individuals to look after their private needs and to pursue profit. It's really a great invention and I wouldn't under-estimate the value of that, but they're not designed to take care of social needs.

Monday, February 15, 2010


It took me more than a month and a half to experience this Orhan Pamuk classic. This book is nowhere close to an easy read of the refreshing breed. Neither is it easy to assign a particular theme to the subject of this book. Enriched with the voice of the most renowned contemporary Turkish author, “My Name is Red” is set amid the splendor and the religious ideologies of the 16th century Ottoman empire.

What is this book about? Not easy to answer. This book can qualify itself as a murder mystery evolving out of the heresy, blasphemy, self-doubt and religious turmoil in which the Turkish art found itself deeply soaked in. But it is not about the murder per se. It can also be a book about an engaging and apprehensive love story. But it is not about love per se. The book is also about the perceivable religious tensions between the east and the west. But the tension is just a canvas which Pamuk has used for his creation.

In the context of the above themes, this is a book on art and painting as depicted through the lives and thoughts of miniaturists. Intensely researched, this book very intricately presents the then prevalent Islamic art form in medieval Turkey and the influence of Persian and Chinese art on it. As the novel unfolds, the impact of the European art forms on the Ottoman sultan and the Turkish miniaturists helps define and build the concept of the novel where one intricate concept after foreplays with each other before the inevitable happens. What starts as a murder mystery ends with redefinition of Turkish art, illumination and ideologies. This is where religion, art, suspense, mystery and ideologies converge at the climax.

The most striking aspect of this book is its ability to weave multiple perspectives. Every chapter is in a form of an intense monologue depicting individual perspectives. Even nonliving entities like a coin and paintings present their perspectives. Dead corpses share their perspectives too.

It’s a typical Orhan Pamuk classic. It has everything which Orhan Pamuk loves to picture through his books. It took five years for Pamuk to create this creation and he has ensured that the readers of this book too give considerable time in understanding what the book is all about.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


I was about to catch a sweet nap in the local train after catching up with Orhan Pamuk’s themes in “My name is Red”. It is habitual now. It is almost impossible for me to read this book for more than thirty minutes after which I feel myself getting overpowered by drowsiness. That’s exactly the reason why I am yet to post on books so far this year.

Today morning, after completing my quota of delving into Pamuk’s thoughts, I was feeling this tremendous urge to close my eyes and relax. It was at exactly this moment when I overheard three middle aged gentlemen who were sharing the adjacent seat in the local. It seems each of them had kids who were about to clear class 12.

1st Gentleman: These days it’s not worth going for Engineering. Everyone is an engineer these days. I am not encouraging my kid to pick up such a career. Its too outdated…

(The statement made my ears ring…I have an engineering degree…oops)

2nd Gentleman: You are right. But more than engineers, you can trace out MBAs these days. Every 2nd person holds an MBA degree. Too much oversupply you see. I am just not going to ask my kid to undertake such fancy studies worth nothing.

(Well…that was like another arrow shot….I have spent so much time and energy gathering a fancy degree)

3rd Gentleman: I agree with both of you. These 20 something people are hugely responsible for pulling down America’s economy. The son of my boss is 26 years old, holds MBA…is an engineer and is working in a global bank….earns too much for his age….absolutely not worth his knowledge and experience. You see we are so much experienced and we are nowhere close to what these guys earn. That’s why the economy got screwed. That’s how US got screwed. These people without experience assume decisive roles, make wrong decisions….and we suffer.

(So here I am…according to these people…with two degrees….one outdated and one fancy….and responsible in my own way in screwing up the economy….and make these people suffer)

What makes me wonder is the fact that these three people were supporting each other in blind with such absolute ease and continuity…. nowhere their thoughts were in sync…the idea of the 1st person was to underline the fact that Engineering is outdated stuff. The second person supported him but stressed the fact that MBA is a fancy degree which every second person has. The third person supported both of his friends but he wanted to prove that MBAs have ruined the economy and that they are terribly overpaid.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010


Noted something…in the entrance door of one of the ground floor offices.
There is a mirror extending the top half of the entrance door. The span of the mirror provides an ideal visage to every individual who happens to cross through it. Just above the mirror is located a board which reads:


Simple but striking….isn’t it !!!

Monday, February 01, 2010


When I was doing my engineering….

1. No one used mobile phones…actually no one possessed one.
2. Laptops were nonexistent….only the luckiest and richest of the students had computers in their rooms…an anachronous machine in the present day context.
3. There was a high demand for a “certain” category of books….such books are outdated stuff today.
4. Google was just introduced as a search engine….today it’s the most frequently used word.
5. My engineering college did not have a website. I think it was during my third year that the website was created through student volunteers.
6. Library was overpopulated…these days I really doubt.
7. There were no “orkut” friends or “facebook” friends.
8. Examinations were limited to pen and paper.
9. We used to visit the campus bank and queue up there to withdraw cash. ATMs/debit cards/credit cards were quite forwardlooking concepts.
10. People used to write handwritten, well ornamented love letters.

I am just trying to gauge the pace of the change. Ten years back certain things were unimaginable. Today, we cannot live without them. But more importantly, all these changes have brought about a paradigm change in the way people think, behave and act.