Archive | July, 2013

Street Child O’ Mine

31 Jul

Little street child of mine :

I saw you on the inter junction

across the church and the school

busy unforgiving street

on the pavement

beneath a electric pole
I have seen many
never any one like you

What struck me about you
a clean  happy girl child

hair properly combed

everyday a new style

clean and washed clothes
you have a loving mother

perhaps, or  its just you

 

As is your destiny
you asked me for money
may be you support your family

 

I was embarrassed

such a nice child

never quite figured

whether its right

to give money

to a child
so i didn’t
but we spoke

You went away smiling

I went on embarrassed

hoping to see you again

across the church

beneath the pole

the heartless street

 

Next when we met

at the friendly inter junction

you happily called me “ Anna”

South Indian synonym for “ elder brother”
my sister who was with me

excitedly said, she called you “ Anna”

scrolled down the windows

again you asked me for money

in my confusion of right and not so right

i said don’t have money child

She said “ do you have a chocolate”

i said will keep chocolates

when we meet next

 

I felt sorry

give little money  to old and infirm

only have love for a child

is it right?

is it enough?

resolve to keep chocolates

may be a dress

 

I passed the street yesterday

it was raining

did not see her

Missed our two minute conversations

wondered where she lives

would I see her again

is she a part of nomadic tribe

will we ever meet again

I don’t like rains

 

I love children

they always surprise me

like a little girl

all of seven or eight

coming  from school

head covered in scarf

heavy school bags

across the street

wished me “ salaam saab”( Hello sir!)

i am no sahib ( Sir) , smiled at her

she smiled back at the stranger

and went away happily

they are happy for no reason

just love that

 

The other day a baby boy

god knows of five or six or seven

sitting idlly on a window pane

shouted at me “ Heyyyyy”

we have never met

smiled back to him

he did same and waved

little happy Mike Tyson

 

So miss you pretty street child

all scrubbed clean and happy

may be you remind

that we are similar

no where to go

not sure of destination

but we are happy

 

So will pass one more time

as sometimes do

will carry chocolates

hope we meet at inter junction

sweet  little street child o’ mine..

Quote

” When I talk t…

30 Jul

” When I talk to my son about girls, I don’t talk about girlfriends. I tell him: ‘Don’t break a girl’s heart, treat it gently and there is no way that you can look at an atrocity done on a women and if you do that you will not be forgiven by your father and mother’. So we should start from there.”

– Shah Rukh Khan

Link

Christine Lagarde:Policy Steps Toward a Full-Speed Global Economy.

29 Jul

Christine Lagarde:Policy Steps Toward a Full-Speed Global Economy.

I had earlier posted a panel discussion  on global economic outlook from World economic forum and a talk by Christine Lagarde. I find Christine largarde both forth right and prescient. In a way glad that Dominique Strauss-Kahn screwed up. Its also nice to have a woman as IMF Chief. She of course is fighting her own battles in her native  France.  I am believer in diversity and find Ms. Lagarde impressive. Though am not very sure of IMF and World bank’s brand of supply side economics works every where. In this talk given at Brookings institution, Madam Lagarde gives broad strokes of global economic trends from a policy formulation perspective. She goes on to elaborate  what IMF calls ” three speed” global economy.

To quote Ms Lagarde ,”Broadly, we are still seeing the three speeds, with countries splitting off into: (i) those that are doing well; (ii) those that are on the mend, and; (iii) those that still have some distance to travel.” Ms. Lagarde states global recovery has been fragile and has not translated into job growth and overall prospects of people.

Madam lagarde talks about potential remedial measures of each of the groups of three speed pyamid.

The first-speed group : Emerging markets: developing countries (BRIC countries) and sub -saharan Africa. The Economist magazine in a recent opinion piece termed emerging markets “the world economy’s 21st-century sprinters”. Ms. Lagarde says ” Today, developing Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa are the two fastest-growing regions of the world. Moreover, a recent IMF study suggested that today’s growth in the low-income countries is more robust that in the past, and less vulnerable to pitfalls and setbacks.” She goes on to say ” of course, we must not get too carried away on a wave of optimism. In the past few months, we see signs of slowing momentum in some emerging markets. In China, recent activity has been weak and growth remains too reliant on credit, property investment, and infrastructure. Investment prospects also look less bright in key markets like Brazil, India, Russia and South Africa.

These countries need to implement policies to protect what they have accomplished—and stay strong. In part, this means looking inwards and getting to grips with domestic vulnerabilities and structural obstacles to sustained growth—including infrastructure and regulatory bottlenecks, as well as governance. It also means looking outwards, keeping a watchful eye on spillovers from the advanced economies, especially from an extended period of unconventional monetary policy.”

The Second -speed group : United states,Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Sweden and Switzerland. The countries who braved the meltdown and now are on slow growth trajectory. Ms. Lagarde says “The US has certainly come a long way in a short time. Just five years ago, it was the triggering point of the crisis, geared by financial excess. Thanks to good progress in fixing its financial system, we are seeing a steady increase in private demand, driven by a recovery in the housing sector and in the automobile industry, and easing financial conditions. Because of this, we believe growth will be almost 2 percent this year, and higher still next year.” She further states “The US also needs a durable solution to raise the debt ceiling. This would help avoid financial market instability and the possibility of undermining the recovery with another self-inflicted wound.

Turning to the longer-term fiscal horizon: the US has made steady progress, reducing its fiscal deficit by some 7 percentage points of GDP since 2009. We believe that the deficit will continue to shrink over the next few years, as revenues recover with faster economic growth. The public debt ratio should also start declining in 2015, as growth picks up and provided interest rates stay low.Nevertheless, the longer-term debt profile remains a major concern.”

The Third -speed group : Euro Zone and Japan. Ms. Lagarde says “Let me start with the Euro Area, first by acknowledging just how far it has come in a short space of time. Consider the list of achievements: the European Stability Mechanism, the ECB’s Outright Monetary Transactions, steps toward a single supervisory mechanism, and the agreement to help relieve the debt burden of Greece, not to mention the nascent European banking union.

Yet the Euro Area economy is still stuck in low gear. Activity has continued to shrink in the beginning of this year, and we expect negative growth—of -0.3 percent—for the year as a whole. Overall, the region is operating at “zero speed”.” Further ” Going forward, the indicators are not encouraging either. Lending to firms is rising only gradually in countries like Germany, and not at all in countries like Italy or Spain. The periphery is still mired in recession, with financial conditions that are unduly tight. Unemployment is still rising. This weakness—combined with lingering uncertainty over the Euro Area growth outlook and the evolution of Euro Area institutions—is draining momentum even from countries like Germany and France.”

Ms lagarde states Euro zone needs a real banking union to further strengthen foundations of monetary union. On Japan, Ms lagarde feels because of policy stimulus ( please refer to Abenomics in an earlier post on panel discussion from Davos) to fight a deflationary environment with a fiscal- monetary mix. She says ” We project growth of 1.6 percent for the year as a whole. If this trajectory continues, we might be able to move Japan from the third to the second speed country group.”

In coclusion she says ”  there are other overarching issues affecting all groups that we must not neglect. A reformed financial sector that supports rather than undermines stability and growth. A more balanced pattern of global demand between the regions of the world. More attention to growth, jobs, and equity in economic life—the issues that really matter to people.”

Please also see a article on deceleration of emerging markets from  “The Economist”

http://www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2013/05/global-economy

My feeling is political will over arches economic policy. Just to take India’s case.India growth rate is pegged at 5 %,decent by world average but its lowest in few years. I always wonder if this growth is inclusive and does it lead to job creation. My own opinion is that growth as much as it is a necessary  phenomenon does not trickle down. Also the harbinger of economic liberalization two decades ago, Dr. Manmohan Singh’s and his UPA government has been at helm for last two terms. Nothing  much has happened. I think policy formulations have to be inclusive and has might only when preceded by political will and robust implementation. I think its political class that holds the key to global economy.

Thank you and have a nice day!

Video

Moves Like Jagger- Maroon5 ( Ft Christina Aguilera)

28 Jul

I read 26 July was Sir Mick Jagger’s birthday, so here is a Maroon 5 ( Ft. Christina Aguilera) song ” Moves like Jagger” 🙂

Moves Like Jagger :

Oh, yeah
Oh!

Just shoot for the stars
If it feels right
And aim for my heart
If you feel like
And take me away and make it OK
I swear I’ll behave

You wanted control
So we waited
I put on a show
Now I make it
You say I’m a kid
My ego is big
I don’t give a shit
And it goes like this

Take me by the tongue
And I’ll know you
Kiss me ’til you’re drunk
And I’ll show you

All the moves like Jagger
I’ve got the moves like Jagger
I’ve got the moves like Jagger

I don’t need to try to control you
Look into my eyes and I’ll own you

With them moves like Jagger
I’ve got the moves like Jagger
I’ve got the moves like Jagger

Maybe it’s hard
When you feel like you’re broken and scarred
Nothing feels right
But when you’re with me
I’ll make you believe
That I’ve got the key

Oh
So get in the car
We can ride it
Wherever you want
Get inside it
And you want to steer
But I’m shifting gears
I’ll take it from here (Oh! Yeah yeah!)
And it goes like this (Uh)

Take me by the tongue
And I’ll know you (Uh)
Kiss me ’til you’re drunk
And I’ll show you

All the moves like Jagger
I’ve got the moves like Jagger
I’ve got the moves like Jagger

I don’t need to try to control you (Oh, yeah)
Look into my eyes and I’ll own you

With them moves like Jagger
I’ve got the moves like Jagger (Yeah yeah)
I’ve got the moves like Jagger

You wanna know how to make me smile
Take control, own me just for the night
And if I share my secret
You’re gonna have to keep it
Nobody else can see this

So watch and learn
I won’t show you twice
Head to toe, oooh baby rub me right
But if I share my secret
You’re gonna have to keep it
Nobody else can see this (Ay! Ay! Ay! Aaay!)

And it goes like this

Take me by the tongue (Take me by the tongue)
And I’ll know you
Kiss me ’til you’re drunk
And I’ll show you (Yeah yeah yeah!)

All the moves like Jagger
I’ve got the moves like Jagger
I’ve got the moves like Jagger
(Oh, yeah)
I don’t need to try to control you
Look into my eyes and I’ll own you

With them moves like Jagger
I’ve got the moves like Jagger
I’ve got the moves like Jagger

There is some early footage of Mick Jagger, hope you like this song as i do 🙂 Thank you! Have a lovely and easy Sunday!

Quote

” If anyone tel…

27 Jul

” If anyone tells you that a certain person speaks ill of you, do not make excuses about what is said of you but answer, “He was ignorant of my other faults, else he would not have mentioned these alone.”
― Epictetus

Video

How do we break the habit of excessive thinking : Eckhart Tolle

26 Jul

I wanted to share this talk by Eckhart Tolle on state of “Presence”. Presence is simply ” gaps in thinking” or ” space of no thought”. It could be alert awareness,spaciousness or mindfulness. I like this eastern premise of “no thinking” and to focus on present moment in a unitary state. This is Zen.

I am a big fan of critical thinking and feel its great. I feel critical thinking gets best actualized through moments of ” no thinking”. So my path to critical thinking is through moments of no thinking, may be it throws some light, may be its like a mental shower 🙂

In this video, Eckhart Tolle states the greatest addiction which we never get to read about in papers is addiction to thinking. He alludes thinking to a pseudo sense of self and that there is a great reluctance on part of people to let go of thinking. His says his primary teaching is of “presence”, a space of no- thought,which also could also be a background presence to thinking. He further says in this presence,thinking loses its ability to create havoc and confuse. He also states practicing present moment awareness slows down over active mind and helps in accepting the isness,simplicity of “now” as it is. A way to practice this awareness is to practice sense perception without a need to label or name. To see without intervention of mind and concepts.

My friend first introduced me to Eckhart teachings through his book ” The Power of Now”. I liked the book much and to confess it gave me peace and perspective in a challenging phase of life. I always liked Zen. I liked his interpretation of simple awareness. I would like to recommend it to anyone who would like to explore this way of thinking. Its non sectarian and a useful book.

To quote from his book ” The Power of Now”:

” When you are on a journey,it is certainly helpful to know where you are going or at least in the general direction in which you are moving,but don’t forget: the only thing that is ultimately real about your journey is the step you are taking at this moment. That’s all there ever is.”

Or ” If you no longer want to create pain for yourself and others,if you no longer want to add to the residue of past pain that still lives on in you,then don’t create any more time,or at least no more than is necessary to deal with practical aspects of life. How to stop creating time.? Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have. Make the Now the primary focus of your life.”

I would like to add a rider here and a request here, if there are any young people reading this post or any such post on spirituality which may post, please only read if life has happened to you in a such a way,else please forgo and just be happy,smile and live every moment to the fullest okay 🙂 this is also true for others..

Thank you 🙂 Have a lovely day friends..

Life and Percentage play..

25 Jul

I was contemplating to write a post on minimizing our losses. The first parallel that came to mind was ” Percentage play ” in sports. I recollected watching most recently Agnieszka Radwanska and Li Na on television play an exciting quarterfinals match at Wimbledon 2013. I thought Li Na played attacking tennis and had upper hand in the match, but it was Radwanska who won with tireless and brilliant percentage tennis. She made less errors. The realization dawned on me as contemplated my own losses and career transitions.

I all along believed we must  focus on strengths and it was okay to live with our flaws and mistakes. I still feel its alright to be flawed and imperfect. Too much quest for perfection and clinical correctness is boring. But if life is a game then our flaws need to be ironed out perhaps. We must make less errors to survive well. It’s something which am still learning.

My career transitions have forced me to look at my own mistakes and errors. Sometimes we hear coaches saying its the team which gets it defense right that wins. it might not make for attractive sport but they win.

To quote from  great Bjorn Borg’s autobiography , My Life and Game ( 1980,with Eugene L. Scott, Simon & Schuster, NY). :

“My synonym for percentage tennis is patience. I want to hit one more ball in court than my rival. I want him to think I’m much more patient so he’ll make a mistake either in execution (racquet error) or in picking a low-percentage ripper for the lines. This philosophy works for beginners too. If a novice (or an intermediate player, for that matter) plays my way, he will aim most of his shots crosscourt, where there is more room for mistakes. If you aim a ball down the line and miss by an inch, you’ll lose the point. But if you always think cross-court you can miss by two yards or more and still have the ball land safely in court.”
And more “My percentages have more to do with my mind than with my strokes. I try to make my challenger believe he can’t out steady me. My cold attitude on court helps. I never applaud or acknowledge an opponent’s good shot. I just go about my business, the next point. This, in a sense, is saying, “I don’t care how spectacular one shot is, you’ll have to hit two thousand exactly like it to beat me.””

I always thought Bjorn Borg was one of the greatest  ever sports persons. I remember watching Borg – McEnroe tennis matches on television as a kid. I thought Bjorn Borg was a supreme athlete and played ” huge under pressure” to borrow a Vijay Amritraj phrase. I simply thought his was unruffled brilliance.His game was based on endurance, great fitness, top spin and patience. I really admired that.

I know life is more paradoxical than sport but have learnt a few things which could help minimize our losses in jobs:

– Be Open but also be discreet: Jyoti Basu, India’s foremost Marxist leader once said ” when you open windows, along with fresh air also comes flies and mosquitoes.” This of course he said in a political context opposing liberal reforms. As is my wont it struck me as a philosophical premise. I often realized in  work situations, people want to know about your personal life more than your professional experience and skill sets. It took me some experience to realize that people try to bond with you offering empathy in personal matters and would later use information against you in professional situations. Spread a canard or white lies. So as Talmud says “Thy friend has a friend, and thy friend’s friend has a friend; be discreet”. This is especially true in management situations, everything is based on information. Information is capital.Whether true or malafide. So its better to have a partner or a friend in life rather than discuss personal matters with a colleague. it really depends but could be harmful. I have experienced same. I hope to work on this, may be having good defense is playing percentage game well. Because we all have competitors in work and life. They are interested in “themselves” and not “You”. Please qualify a friendly visage.

– To do run of mill and uncreative work well: Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan said in a interaction with  students at Yale University ( have posted that talk as Chubb fellow in an earlier post) that 7 out of 10 projects he does is boring and uncreative but does it with same passion and enthusiasm. I need to inculcate same quality and discipline. We do not always get work which we like or according to our competencies but nevertheless must do it with same passion and fun. I once had a lady colleague who was heading a American consulate trade body.Since trade body was closed down, she sought employment with a company where i was working. I was surprised and asked her why she had chosen to work with us,because she had a  good important job earlier. She just smiled and said she wanted to be occupied. I loved her industriousness and ability to take things in a stride without rancor. The work assigned to her was boring and she did it without complaining and was fun to be around. I learnt a lesson, life has ups and downs, work may or not to be our liking, but we must not whine and have a good attitude.

I have more flaws that needs to be ironed out, needs to be more flexible, more disciplined etc etc but hope to get percentages right 🙂

I just wanted to share thought of percentage play and industriousness to minimize our losses. Hope you find it useful and may you continue to shine on as a crazy diamond 🙂  Have a lovely day dear friends. Thank you!