Saturday, December 15, 2012
Friday, November 18, 2011
Today on my way home I went to get some groceries at the wife's request. As I was waiting for my turn at the register, I heard some young boys talking enthusiastically in the familiar Indian accent in the aisle behind me. I turned around and observed what they were doing while I waited. There were exactly 10 of them, probably came over in two cars belonging to two helpful seniors who would have volunteered to take the rest eight to the grocery store as part of their once every two weeks routine. On that note I want to take the opportunity to thank all of our senior friends at NC State who always helped us for such grocery store trips. I saw what they had shopped, and it all was so similar to our list from 10 years ago. Eggs, lots of cans of kidney beans and the black eyed peas, 4 packs of sugar, 3 packets of bread, lots of cheese, ketchup, flat bread, veggies galore, juices (the largest size containers), and a lot more. The only thing they had which we never brought into our vegetarian household was a Turkey....they sure seemed to have gotten into the American culture faster than we had back in those days! I still distinctly remember those days not so long ago when we packed a trunk full of grocery so we didn't have to bother another senior car-owning friend for at least two weeks. Upon reaching home it would take two trips to the car for all five of us to unload that grocery, and then not an inch of airspace was left out in the refrigerator. I turned around as my turn had come, and looked at my short list of items. I have a car now so can go to the grocery store several times a week. I had organic stuff as I no longer have student loans to worry about. I now seem to have a problem with tap water and drink only fresh spring water - collected at the source - because I can afford it. Such contrasts always cross my mind when I see people who I once was like in different walks of life. Times change I guess, and so do people, just that the nostalgia remains the same :-). To all my friends from the NCSU days, had a great time being with you in zip code 27606. We should plan to meet again.
Posted by CT at 9:47 PM
Thursday, October 06, 2011
Today after the little over three year old Aanvi was done with her dinner, as I removed the tray that locks her into her high chair, I saw her just step down from the chair like we adults do, without having to think about it or make any effort. Suddenly my thoughts went back to a day not so long ago, when after she was done with her dinner, I had removed the locking tray on the same high chair, and told her that on that day I was not going to put her down and that she had to do it on her own. She had never been successful in doing that before. Everytime, after a lot of jostling around, she would end up clinging to the chair with her legs hanging in the air looking for the floor to put them down, and then we would have to help her down. On that day as I gave her that challenge and stepped into the kitchen to put her dish away and get her some water, she managed to do the impossible!! Her feet found the ground they had been looking for for many days. She ran to find me in the kitchen, jumped on to me, hugged me tight, and made a grand announcement..."Dadda, I did it!".
Posted by CT at 9:38 PM
Monday, March 02, 2009
The First Law of Corporate Survival: Modest incompetence simply won't do; it's mindboggling screw-ups that are required
(Warren's way to potray the utter helplessness of the federal government in letting huge financial institutions fail, unfortunately)
Posted by CT at 6:44 PM
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
On a business trip I met this person who has a disease for which there is no cure. The disease shortens the lifespan of the person it afflicts. I can't describe the feeling I went through when the person stated this fact to me. He said it is a strange experience to live when you know you have a terminal illness. That reminded me of a line which I read somewhere....WE ALL HAVE A TERMINAL ILLNESS - ITS CALLED LIFE!!
Ever since then this phrase has stuck to my mind. I find myself saying it time and again to myself. I observe people around me, critically look at the way they behave, and I see that most of the times people live as if they are going to live forever. Often times when I analyze my own behavior I find myself doing the same thing. I wonder what it would be like to live with the realization that you are for sure not going to be around after a certain period of time. I wonder what it would be like to live if you know for sure that you are going to live for eternity. I wonder where the beginning is, and where the end, and what's the purpose, or if there is even one!
Posted by CT at 8:43 PM
Thursday, February 21, 2008
We all have numerous identities given to us with reference to the people around us, and each of these identities require us to do things in order for us to do 'justice' to that identity. As a good son I am expected to behave in a manner that keeps my parents happy. As a good son-in-law I have to fulfill the social obligations that come along with that role. The day I deviate slightly, I stand a chance to lose that identity, or at least face the trial for not having given 'justice' to that identity of mine. I am also a husband, an employee, a manager, a nephew, a brother, a brother-in-law, a friend, etc. etc. etc.
All too often I ponder that does not all this end up stealing my true identity? The individual within me has some aspirations, some expectations from my own self that need to be satisfied. But in the process of doing 'justice' to my other identities, I sometimes seem to lose the identity of my own self. Though I have never explicitly spoken to them, when I look at all the people around me, I feel they are all the victims of that same identity theft to a lesser or greater extent than me. I also do sometimes curse my own self for using this excuse to cover up my own laziness, cowardice (or dutifulness, however way you might look at it), and non-action. Many times I console myself by saying that we ought to be practical, or we have to accept the reality, or may be some day....., or we have to keep the right balance.
In the end, the fact remains that almost every human being is a victim of this identity theft. And considering that there are approximately 3 births every second on earth, the rate of this crime is 9 times as much as that advertised by Lifelock. Unfortunately, I don't think there ever will be a corporation that can save us from the identity theft that I am talking about. I only wish that some day human civilization will evolve enough to notice this gruesome crime and prevent it from happening. In my lifetime, I only wish that I always live with the consciousness of this crime, and not myself afflict anyone around me with it.
Posted by CT at 12:04 PM
Monday, February 04, 2008
In the past few weeks I got the news of deaths of people that a couple my acquaintances were very close to. I felt very uncomfortable facing those acquaintances because the way I perceive death is so not normal. I will attempt here to put down in words how I feel about death (especially when it comes to the death of somebody very close to you), and would welcome views that are in agreement or otherwise.
As for death in general, I simply see it is an end of existence. I look at the human body in the same light as the body of any other creature including animals, plants, insects, microbes, etc., and hence don't find any difference between the death of the latter or former. There are many related topics that I would like to write on at some point of time, like analyzing human beings and their actions after accepting the fact that all humans are but members of a species called homo sapien sapien, just like tommy next doors is a member of the species canine familiaris. For now, bluntly, death is an end of existence.
Now, things get complicated when you bring into picture the emotional aspect. The person who is no longer alive would have been somebody's spouse, somebody's parent, somebody's sibling, etc., and all those "somebodys" have emotional ties with that person that are difficult to let loose. All those "somebodys" are going to miss that person. All those "somebodys" are deeply hurt by the absence of that person. I do fully understand, accept, and respect these emotions. What I don't understand is that was it the intention of that person to give so much pain to all those "somebodys"? Or more importantly, will seeing all the "somebodys" in grief make that person happy at all? The conclusion that I come to personally is that if one really, and objectively, cares about the opinions of the dead person, he/she will start leading the normal life immediately. He/she will celebrate the life of the person, cherish the fond memories with that person, try to imbibe the qualities of the person that he/she appreciated, do everything that had the person been alive, would have made the person happy. Most people behave in the exactly opposite manner (except the imbibing of good qualities part). This is not because they don't care about the opinions of the dead person, but because they are not objective in the process. The shock and sorrow takes over the objective sensibilities, only for them to come back with time, sooner or later. The question I always ask in my head when facing such circumstances is: why not sooner?
The one thing that I don't like at all about such situations is my loved ones insisting that I talk to the person who has lost a dear family member. The fact that I have never called that person in my life tends to exacerbate this dislike. Just think about it, I have never, I repeat emphatically, never, called a person in my life. I only meet this person on social events, maybe once a year or less. Today I hear that the person's father passed away. I do sympathize with the person, I understand that he is in grief. I know that that is all I can do. There is no possible way in which I can help the person, nor can I be a shoulder to cry on because I am not very close with the person (or the other way round). So what should I do? My loved ones are of the opinion that I should at least once call the person up and say words like "I am sorry to hear about your loss" or "Let me know if I can help in any way" or "Everything will be OK" or "It happens, what can we do". I say to myself, the person already knows all this. I am sure the person is trying to cope up with the situation, let us give him room to himself to do it. Is the constant reminding that he has lost his father going to be of any help to him? It is like a person who is repenting on a mistake and trying to correct it, while everybody else just keeps reminding the person of how bad he/she is, or what a terrible mistake it was, or if nothing else point a finger and say "you are a sinner!". I have never found myself at home when I see the way the majority of people behave when there is a death, and everytime I have come across as a insensitive stone hearted person to most of that majority.
Maybe with time I will learn how to perform my 'duty' of talking to people in such circumstances. Or maybe I will not. The one thing I know is that whenever I become a victim of such times, I would like to accept the fact, move on with life as I will have to sooner or later, and pay homage to the person no more by trying to live in a way that would have made him/her happy. If a couple of week later I have to attend a wedding, birthday or baby shower, I will gladly go there and enjoy, because I know that if the person would have been alive, he/she would have expected me to to exactly that. All the people who do call me, though I don't believe in that, I am glad you feel about me. All the people who don't call me, I know precisely why you didn't!!
Posted by CT at 10:18 AM
Friday, February 01, 2008
Take this a step further. Convert this profit and per capita income to find out how many people of India can Exxonmobil support if it were to donate its profit away. Do the math and then look at this table that shows the population of the states of India. Imagine this, if Exxonmobil were to donate away its profit, it would be enough to support the population of Gujarat!!
When I hear such stories, I find myself torn between two thoughts - Is this fair or such profits are crossing the threshold towards being called criminal? On the other hand, how wonderful is the business model than can generate such profits? Is this capitalism at its worst or at its best? Intrigued I am :-).
Posted by CT at 2:48 PM
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Not very often do you come across a piece of art that touches your core to an extent of leaving a permanent mark on it. Not very often do you see people standing spellbound to watch the ending credits till the screen is switched of. Not very often do I have to throw my handkerchief (I still use one in the US!!) in the washing basket after coming home from the movie theater. It rarely happens that you don't want to discuss or write about the specifics of a film because you feel that your limited writing ability will not do justice to it. How many times has it happened that a movie makes you feel that your existence is so shallow and meaningless, and your aspirations so animal-like - devoid of any purpose. How many times do you like a 'movie' so much that if somebody tries to make a mockery of it you for once want to forget all arguments about open mindedness and freedom of speech, and smack the person on the nose. How many times.....not very often!!
Do yourself a big favor please, don't miss out on this one.
Posted by CT at 1:20 AM
Friday, September 21, 2007
I met this cousin of a friend of mine a couple of weeks back. We were going over various business opportunities and how one should look at entrepreneurship in general. He said this one line that I can't forget:
Posted by CT at 11:17 AM