Thursday, December 04, 2008

Couple of thoughts...

Last week has been eventful, disturbing, frustrating, feeling helpless - amidst the recent attacks in Bombay & reflecting on it.

Interestingly, today I was watching a TED talk by Stefan Sagmeister; Out of the many thoughts shared in the talk, two points brought a rare smile to my face since the last week and thought its apt to share it.

- Worrying solves nothing.


- Complaining is silly. Either act or forget.

Monday, October 20, 2008

India vs. Australia - 2nd test match

The 2nd test match, especially the last 2 days have witnessed immaculate performance by a team in a test series - team India's biggest win in terms of a victory margin and that too against a top quality team. It was enthralling to see a team effort with so many countributions by almost every player. India vs. Australia - the battle is always a special one to watch - to see which of the top 2 teams in cricket are getting an upper hand of the other.

But the last 2 days in particular, I have thoroughly enjoyed every moment of the game.

Punter's dismissal of Ishant Sharma - a cracker of a delivery. The only space left for the ball to go through was a size of a cricket ball - and Ishant Sharma with the reverse swing found that only to see the off-stump being uprooted. Ponting didn't have a clue and he too was surprised to see how the ball went through the gate.

Zaheer Khan's wickets today morning - especially Haddin and Brett Lee - pure enjoyment of world class bowling. Stumps flying around, batsmen having no clue on how the ball is moving - these are priceless moments to watch :)

Both Zaheer Khan and Ishant Sharma as the only 2 pace bowlers in the game - played a very crucial role. The task of swinging the ball which the Australian pacers could not was performed at a more than desired level.

Other Great moments - included the legendary Tendulkar's response to those 2 catches. Even after being the highest ever run scorer in Tests, playing 19 years of test match cricket - (that's a
hell of a lot of test cricket), the same kid-like enthusiasm of taking a catch and celebrating that as if it was your first catch in test match cricket - just makes you smile in awe at the great legend.

Many other moments and contributions worth mentioning, but I am not going to write all of them - will enjoy today being proud of Indian cricket and watch highlight shows to re-live the moments of pure enjoyment :)

With regards to Dhoni, I am only going to say that the future of Indian cricket feels in safe hands.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

WHY

Most of the times, people do get in to the rut of living their daily lives, that they forget to question WHY are they doing things. So forgetting to explore this 3 letter word in many lives is the root cause for the lack of FULFILLMENT and in many cases, the journey of exploring this has given a PURPOSE & DIRECTION to their LIVES.

However, when someone passes away - this is the easiest to pop up, it takes a matter of seconds when the WHY is stuck in your mind. And unfortunately, this is the wrong time to ask yourself this; WHY did this happen to him / her / them? - Nope. Don't try to solve the puzzle at that time. It has no answer and increases suffering & frustration.


Thursday, August 14, 2008

Quality vs. Cost

In today's globalized 'flat' world, where every other firm is on a race to exploit the cost advantage by looking at manufacturing / producing goods and / or delivering services out of 'developing' economies - you may want to 'oversee' how certain retailers are marketing this.



I bumped into this in the Budapest main market - and initially it seemed extremely funny, but then the thought of how 'quality' and 'cost competition' - in this case, low quality vs. low cost are perceived almost going hand in hand - it is definitely something to ponder about.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Atlas Shrugged


When Dagny asks him, "What's the most depraved kind of human being?"

Francisco answers: "The man without a purpose."

Started reading Atlas Shrugged a couple of weeks back and is shaping up amazingly well.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Viva la vida



The new album by Coldplay - have been hearing since about 5 days now.

You can feel the band's obsession over the details they have put into this. This is a different album as the tone is a bit dark, the guitars are played roughly & heavily - definitely a bold effort by the band but it has paid off every bit - the bar has truly been raised!

You can feel the difference in the songs - for e.g "Yes!" which has odd tunes and Chris's rough voice. The title - "Viva la vida" starts off beautifully and you know hearing the title song - that this album is here to make the difference and top the charts even before you hear all the songs.

Chris Martin and the entire band has done an incredible job with the new album and I am very happy about this fact :). The instrumental -"Life in technicolor" is melodious along with "Strawberry Swing". Also I can feel the ethnic tabla / tribal drums in the song "Lost" - which is beautiful, but I still prefer the bonus track Lost (acoustic) version- where there is absolutely nothing besides the piano playing with Chris Martin singing.

You might call me biased for my fav band - but I still give them a 9 / 10 and there are good reasons for this.

I like the entire album, but to pick my top 3 songs - here they go:

* Viva la vida
* Lost
* Life in technicolor

I hope I can somehow arrange my schedule and manage to watch them live in the upcoming tour with some uncertainty that lies ahead of me as just over 2 months are left in Swiss land.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

A flight of freedom...

It was an incredible feeling on the 'flight of freedom' as I like to put it :)



During the 20 mins in the air, it reminded me of this thought that I had posted sometime back.

After the para gliding, followed one of the great lunches at an Indian restaurant :), and later in the evening, Gaurav, Petroula and I had taken this wonderful boat ride for 2.5 hrs on the lake of Thun - it was sooooo pretty and relaxing. It was a day in a weekend - but felt like we were on a loooong holiday - felt disconnected from everything but the nature and you being a part of it like everything else in this world.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Amazing 4 hours for me...

A simple wish by filmmaker Jehane Noujaim, TED prize winner in 2006 -a reality yesterday. Her wish was to create a day in which the world came together through film. Pangea Day grew out of that wish.

So yesterday, few of us gathered at home at 20:00 Zurich time when the Pangea day was about to be broadcasted live across everywhere in the world.

4 amazing, touching hrs where you saw some of the most fascinating films, visionary speakers, musicians, people from various parts of the world - Touching & powerful messages about how people are working towards from a shared vision of the world.

One of the most touching pieces for me was a brief conversation shown between a Palestinian and an Israeli who shared their experience. Both said they had lost their children killed by each other's country men. And their message of togetherness saying that there are more Israeli and Palestinians who want peace between them and the entire conversation was extremely powerful.

They said when they lost their children, they had a lot of anger and suffering. They said that for people to reconcile in these countries in particular is NOT that they don't want peace, but because they CANNOT live with the suffering and pain inflicted on them. They dont know what to do with the anger.

"There's no way to peace. Peace is the way. You do peace first without any condition." said the guy.

This story of forgiveness and spreading this message by talking to such families from both these countries was one amongst countless other stories told yesterday and a simple idea of bringing the world together through films was breathtaking.

Some people might think it to be idealistic and feel comfortable in their own bubble.

Yes, may be a film won't change the world - but the people who watched those films CAN.

Thank you for an amazing inspiring 4 hrs yesterday.

Friday, April 25, 2008

A moving experience...

I have been intending to write this post since quite some while, but never found the appropriate time to write about it.

Michelle was visiting Zurich and so Petroula, Michelle and I went to the restaurant called "Blinde Kuh" translated as "The blind cow" - the world's first dark restaurant. It is a restaurant where you do not need your sight to enjoy the experience.

We had to order our food outside in the reception area, since the dining room was supposed to be pitch dark. Apparently this place is pretty small - but hosts about 78 people at full capacity. The evening we went - we were told that there were 74 people, almost packed :) and is served by about 4 staff in total - mix of blind and partially sighted.

This was our table that we were dining at :)


A blind waiter comes out to pick us up from the reception area. Since it is pitch dark inside, we put our hands on her shoulders and she led us to our table. You could not see anything - all cellphones, luminary objects were to be kept outside.

To eat something that you cannot see was extremely uncomfortable. Of course, I spilled a few things outside my plate (am a bit clumsy but still I will blame that on the darkness:)), but it wasn't embarrassing since no one could see the damage I did :)

We had numerous conversations about the way we were feeling. The only thing you can experience there is sounds of people around talking and laughing. You cannot even see your hand when you put it in front of your face - pitch dark.

We were almost touched to experience how it is to live such a life - truly appreciating the value of 'sight'. Certain worldly problems of life seem so trivial at such times - just reminded me of the power of 'gratitude' to appreciate your existence and not carried away by trivial problems in life - may it be in terms of dissatisfaction of your job, relationships or having some sort of bad day because of a trivial verbal fight.

On another angle, to understand how the blind have to live their life everyday - who live, enjoy and experience their lives only by the sense of 'touch' is extremely moving. I would definitely want to look at donating eye sight after death and encourage others to explore this possibility.

Indeed, an unforgettable, touching and moving experience and for all people who will visit Zurich some day - don't forget to visit this place for a unique experience!

You can read more about the fascinating story behind this here

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Greek and Indian pigeons :)

Barcelona weekend trip is going great, a beautiful place - but more on that later.

So Vicky - a greek friend of Petroula and I were walking near La Ramblas today and found a few pigeons totally chilling...So I surprisingly felt nostalgic. And here's how the conversation goes :)


Me: This pigeon looks like the one from India.

She: Why do you say so?

Me: I mean, look at the color, texture - this is def like the ones from India. You see them everywhere.

She: These are in Greece too.

Me: How can we tell the difference?

She: Tell the pigeon to pronounce the word SUGAR. If it sounds as Shugar it is Indian and if sounds like ssssuuuuuuugar it is Greek.

Huge burst of laughter all around :) Go the Greek sounds of sssssss instead of shh :) I hope people who have interacted with Greeks and know their accents can understand this :)

Hahahahahha....

Friday, March 28, 2008

Being a twenty - something

I received this today and I am sure this may be comforting for almost everyone in their twenty's to realize that everyone has their own share of questions and challenges that pop up in their mind and everyone has some of this currently stuck in your mind as you reading this.

No one has their life figured out, but sometimes people tend to think they have and rather than looking within them and facing it they go seeking outside of them. We have one or more of these floating in our heads at this moment. But that is natural and I hope most of you feel at peace that you are not ALONE in this quest. I wish you the best in your journey in exploring and experiencing these.



Being a twenty - something:

It is when you stop going along with the crowd and start realizing that there are many things about yourself that you didn't know and may not like. You start feeling insecure and wonder where you will be in a year or two, but then get scared because you barely know where you are now.

You start realizing that people are selfish and that, maybe, those friends that you thought you were so close to aren't exactly the greatest people you have ever met, and the people you have lost touch with are some of the most important ones. What you don't recognize is that they are realizing that too, and aren't really cold, catty, mean or insincere, but that they are as confused as you.

You look at what you are studying or your job... and it is not even close to what you thought you would be doing, or maybe you are looking for a job and realizing that you are going to have to start at the bottom and that scares you.

Your opinions have gotten stronger. You see what others are doing and find yourself judging more than usual because suddenly you realize that you have certain boundaries in your life and are constantly adding things to your list of what is acceptable and what isn't. One minute, you are insecure and then the next, secure.

You laugh and cry with the greatest force of your life. You feel alone and scared and confused. Suddenly, change is the enemy and you try and cling on to the past with dear life, but soon realize that the past is drifting further and further away, and there is nothing to do but stay where you are or move forward.

You get your heart broken and wonder how someone you loved could do such damage to you. Or you lie in bed and wonder why you can't meet anyone decent enough that you want to get to know better. Or maybe you love someone! but love someone else too and cannot figure out why you're doing this because you know that you aren't a bad person.

Getting wasted and acting like an idiot starts to look pathetic. You go through the same emotions and questions over and over, and talk with your friends about the same topics because you cannot seem to make a decision. You worry about loans, money, the future and making a life for yourself... and while winning the race would be great, right now you are scared just to be a contender!

What you may not realize is that every one reading this relates to it. We are in our best of times and our worst of times, trying as hard as we can to figure this whole thing out.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

To dear Prabs & Kavita...


Big day for the lovely couple - marks the start of something new & important.

May this moment be the start of living your dreams together.

Congratulations - I wish I could have been there with you at this moment of celebration.

Miss you both - but cherish every second of this ceremony today

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A comedy of errors...

This happened on my flight to Tunis via Milan. So once our flight landed in Tunis and was taxing around - it stopped for a min. And ofcourse, the stewardess announces - not to get up. But ofcourse, who listens to them? So a couple of people stand up and the stewardess (only 3 in number serving about 120 of us) started to shout saying them to sit down.

But then once again the flight moved, and after another min it stopped again (however the clear msg said do not move until the plane completely stops and seat belt sign is off)

But there was one guy sitting diagonally to me, he was well dressed in a suit so wouldnt expect it from him - but well, he looked as if he wanted some fun.
So as to provoke people to again get up, he started to play with his seat belt - fastening and unfastening making the clinking noise. The third time he did it - people thought that its time to get up - and people started standing up. What happens? The stewardess again get up fuming and telling people to sit down. Seeing this, the dude breaks into a cackle and everyone started laughing - was such a hilarious moment to end the flight which wasn't the best one with no vegetarian food on the flight (although ensuring that 2 days in advance and the only answer to me being - "too bad it got over" not even asking if they can serve something else or have at least a comforting tone) But well, go Alitalia (at least the luggage arrived in one piece)

Besides that, the conference has started off on a good note. Tunis is pretty, its interesting to see a few locals that I met in the Global Village chit chatting about Tunisia and how it is for them to live there. They were extremely excited to see an Indian (they watch Bollywood movies every single week but hardly any Indians in this country). The place is not as warm as everyone imagined to be. I hope the sun shines even more brightly through the next few days - definitely need that after escaping the Zurich weather.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Addicted to...


Grey's Anatomy or shall I rather say Meredith Grey :).

Since the last month - I have finished first two seasons and now started season 3.

It is a beautiful series which portrays the characters vividly. The plot is very simple but well woven - various situations that crop up during the lives of surgical interns and doctors in general working at Seattle Grace Hospital. Since my dad's a doc and our family lived in hospital quarters for about 10 years, I am used to patients, doctors around all the time. Growing up in that environment where there are patient wards, ICU a floor up your house, I can relate a lot of moments in my lives to innumerable events and the way characters feel in the series. Also the cool part is during the beginning and before the episode ends - where Meredith's thoughts as per the theme of the episode are summarized and well articulated.

Plus Ellen Pompeo (who plays the central character of Meredith) is an amazingly elegant and beautiful woman. You can't help but fall in love with the way she is :). Lets see how season 3 shapes up.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Italy vs Portugal in Zurich...

Watched a friendly soccer game between Italy and Portugal the other day.

The result is shown by the picture with the proud Italian Fede (3 - 0 to Italy), was really cool however we watched the match sitting in the Portugal side :)...


Friday, February 01, 2008

Book reviews

Since last week, few of us started to host book reviews which will happen monthly.

Simple idea - someone presents a book which he / she feels that people can learn from or discuss some important questions and have conversations around it. As a plus, it will indirectly lead for us to have a goal to read a book a month.

To initiate this, I presented Blue Ocean Strategy (BOS) which is a highly interesting book. I read this last year during my AI term. The name symbolic of red ocean denoting competition in the existing market space while blue ocean is about creating an uncontested market space.

Value Innovation is the cornerstone of BOS. It is so called because instead of focusing on beating the competition, you focus on making the competition irrelevant by creating a leap in value for buyers and your company, thereby opening up new and uncontested market space.

It also talks how Blue Ocean Strategy is about breaking the trade off between the value it offers through differentiation and cost (simple words - how can we move with both value and costs while not trading one against the other) and presents several case studies.

There has been some criticism about the book mentioning that it is a concept that is applied to already existing success stories and there are few examples of companies that have adopted it become hugely successful - also considering the catchy name and the concept which has grown popularity.

Simply put - besides all the debate we had on this, few questions that it boiled down to - What does it mean for me?

There is definitely a rationale and relevance in the presented structure, approach and framework for asking the right questions an industry or person should be asking to challenge it's strategy and ensuring that the right questions are asked continuously to be in a unique space. These are simple things which organizations fail to recognize. A lot of it might not be breakthrough concepts - but well, its well packaged as a single theory.

One of the other interesting view points brought out through the discussion was about using Blue Ocean Strategy on your own self - what is needed for a person to continuously add value in today's society - definitely worth exploring.

A highly recommended book to read.

Looking forward to the next ones - where more books will be presented on different themes.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Measure of a man

These battered hands are all you own
This broken heart just turned to stone
Go hang your glory on the wall
There comes a time when castles fall
And all that's left is shifting in the sand

You're out of time, you're out of place
Look at your face
That's the measure of a man

This coat that fits you like a glove
These dirty streets you learned to love
So welcome back my long lost friend
You've been to hands and back again
And God alone knows how you crossed that span

Back on the beat, back to the start
Trust in your heart
That's the measure of a man

It's the fire in the eyes, the lines on the hand
It's the things you understand
Permanent ties from which you once ran
That's the measure of a man

You've come full circle, now you're home
Without the gold, without the chrome
And this is where you've always been
You had to lose so you could win
And rise above your troubles while you can

Now you can love, now you can lose
Now you can choose
That's the measure of a man

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Live your dreams...


My ganstaa bro sent me this, beautiful.

What exactly does it take to live the life of your dreams?

Perfect timing?
Fortunate opportunities?
A million dollars in the bank?

Not even close. It takes a decision; a simple decision that will ultimately test the strength of your commitment and the depth of your faith.

- Karen Wright

Saturday, January 05, 2008

New Years in Austria

6 other AI team mates, another 50 Romanians (ok, ok - 10, but trust me it seemed like 50 :)) - So much fun! Miss you all and also Settlers :) Thank you Ondrej and Gabiza (a.k.a Ondroliza) for arranging everything...