Happy New Year!

Best wishes for a Happy 2016!!
Wishing everyone a good health, happiness, prosperity and good Karma, though we are still looking for ‘him’!
2015, another year gone by, a part of the past now. Most of it will fade away into distant memories.
Looking ahead, a new year -2016, with new potentials. So, time for some new resolutions, even though most of our new year’s resolutions are about the same as before… not much changes in our wishes and expectations. Except, the time moves on!
The life’s journey is random in nature – beautiful, exciting, surprising, boring, disappointing…. all combined in unpredictable steady moments of time. There are ups, there are downs. But, if you look around, there is always something to live for, to cherish, to enjoy….
So, here is another year, a brand new 2016, full of new possibilities… Explore it, enjoy it !
Life happens, moment-by-moment, day by day, year by year…
So live it! Let us be grateful for another chapter in our lives.
Look around; admire the nature, the surroundings…, admire the goodness of humanity. Be a part of ‘all that is good in the universe’.
But, above all, slow down once in while, take a break. Break the fast pace of the daily grinds and look around every now and then;enjoy the journey! The life, the living, happens in the present!
Happy Journey!
Happy New year!!

The top executives in America… and the path

Climbing the corporate ladder: The ‘top executives’ in USA and the path to the top jobs
A job in the IT field or a small businesses ownership – when it comes to the favorite employment preferences of the Indian Americans, these are the two most common perception.  The new generations of Indian engineers and medical professionals are crowding the US industries. The thrifty approach of first generation Indians over the decades continue to contributed towards successful family businesses as well well as upbringing of a highly educated second generation of American Indians.
One field where Indians have not fully caught up is the top executive tier of the US companies. While we continue to move into the middle class management, the success in the top tier jobs is not that prevalent.
One thing to keep in mind, there are only limited numbers of top executive jobs. There is only one CEO, CFO or COO in a company – large or small. There could be many head-of-department positions in larger corporations but the numbers are relatively small. So, this could be one of the reason for limited success beyond middle management; there are just not that many jobs for top executives and competition is fierce for this cream of the crop.

The ‘top executives’: A summary
Based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics (US Department of Labor), here is an insight into the American ‘top executives’:

What Top Executives Do
Top executives devise strategies and policies to ensure that an organization meets its goals. They plan, direct, and coordinate operational activities of companies and organizations. Continue reading “The top executives in America… and the path”

The cure for racism!

Racism – An ugly word, with uglier social implications,  with the ugliest outcomes in most cases. Racism is a behavior; the discrimination based on racial differences are daily common occurrence. There is no debating that racism is a social issue, a social disease.

It is human nature, we react differently to different situations; we respond in our own ways to those who appear different from us. The racism is a product of our culture; a part of our ignorance about other cultures, about other people from different race.

The way we are raised, the way we are educated and the way our surroundings are – all little things add up to affect our thinking, consciously or subconsciously.

They say that the racism is all in our brain, the way we think. Many times, we may not even know that we are subconsciously discriminating. For example, our education may teach us to be fair and equal to all, but our childhood upbringing may have taught us differently. Just the way things were around us, when we were growing up, leave a lasting impression on our thinking, on our behavior. Continue reading “The cure for racism!”

The Madman

‘The Madman’ by Kahlil Gibran (Khalil Gibran):

You ask me how I became a madman. It happened thus: One day, long before many gods were born, I woke from a deep sleep and found all my masks were stolen,—the seven masks I have fashioned and worn in seven lives,—I ran maskless through the crowded streets shouting, “Thieves, thieves, the cursed thieves.”

Men and women laughed at me and some ran to their houses in fear of me.

And when I reached the market place, a youth standing on a house-top cried, “He is a madman.” I looked up to behold him; the sun kissed my own naked face for the first time. For the first time the sun kissed my own naked face and my soul was inflamed with love for the sun, and I wanted my masks no more. And as if in a trance I cried, “Blessed, blessed are the thieves who stole my masks.” Continue reading “The Madman”

2012 – Welcome!

Happy 2012 to you and your loved ones!

The Time is the ultimate story teller; the time is the father of truth. As time goes by, the reality of everything around us strips down to their true colors.

We talk about passing time or sitting around idle, or killing time; in reality it is the time that kills us in the end. This is nothing new, we all know the importance of time; how precious it is!

Yes, we are overly preoccupied with the time and its passage. We have organized our time into calendars, into a busy schedule to prove that we are not wasting time. We are even double-booked some times! Yes, we have understood the importance of time, we have figured out a way to make the best out of it, so we believe!!

The new years, the new wishes, or the old wishes tweaked a little…this is the beauty of time, the new time. The passing time makes us feel so important, as if we control it.

Of course, we don’t control the time, or the life passing by. In fact, there is no need; there is no need to drag the time, or hold on to the past. Continue reading “2012 – Welcome!”

Yes, Life is different here!

Living Abroad – Different strokes for different folks!

Yes, life is different here, very different!!

Here, people come from all over the places! They have different skin tones, different heights. They walk different, they talk different. Some have local accent; others are outsiders for sure. Some speak in a monotone while others are too dramatic in every expression. Some stand still and deliver their opinion in a quiet but firm voice, while others use their hands and gestures more than their tongue.

Some dress sparingly and reveal everything, very outdoorsy to say it modestly! Others are too covered, as if protecting themselves from a wintery chill, even in the summer months.

People speak so many different languages here. Just walk down the street and you will get an earful of gibberish dialects for sure; many of those you have never heard of!

Yes, life is different here, very different!!

The food choices are quite interesting, or strange. Some like it plain and others, spicy. Some eat only vegetables while others hunt for meat. Some can afford it all, while others live from hand to mouth. Some like it exotic and show off their feasts while others struggle to feed even two times a day. Continue reading “Yes, Life is different here!”

Are you in the right Job or occupation? The Monday morning test!

Jobs and occupations – Evaluating your current work options!

Tokyo Women’s Medical University study, published in the American Journal of Hypertension, shows that many workers suffer a significant increase in blood pressure as they return to the office after the weekend.

Other researches show that the most common day for heart attacks is Monday. Statistics spike on Monday mornings, in particular, since heart attacks occur between 4 a.m. and 10 a.m. more than any other six-hour period.

How much do you really like your job or occupation? How you feel on Monday morning may be the real test of your career choice and the occupation. There are very few who enjoy waking up Monday morning, looking forward to the work. After a relaxing weekend, nobody want to go back to the job routine. After all, as name says it all, work is just that – work!

Most of us work as a necessity; there is no choice but finding a way to make the living. There are very few who have combined their work with their favorite hobby. If your work is also your hobby, well then you may not know much about the Monday morning blues! Continue reading “Are you in the right Job or occupation? The Monday morning test!”

USA welcomes prospective students from India

United States welcomes prospective Indian students
US Embassy Press release; July 28, 2011, New Delhi

“The United States is proud of its record of welcoming foreign students, and in particular the numerous Indian students who enrich America’s academic communities. The number of Indian students who have applied for visas to study in the United States increased by 20% over the same period last year. This increase is an indication of the dynamism of the Indo-U.S. partnership and the strong people-to-people ties between the two nations. It also reflects the desire of high quality Indian students to pursue a world-class education in the U.S.

Prospective students are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the free resources offered by the U.S. government and fully research the academic options available to them. The Embassy is to provide accurate, free information that allows students and their families to research schools and to protect themselves from visa fraud rings. All legitimate students have a fair chance to study in the U.S.

As always, the U.S. government urges all prospective students to fully research their chosen educational institutes and have a firm grasp of what is and is not permitted under a student visa. In particular, all students must be aware that any of the following will result in an immediate violation of status:

  • Lack of physical attendance at classes (taking only online courses is not acceptable)
  • Failure to maintain a full courseload
  • Unauthorized employment

Violating the terms of a visa can result in deportation, arrest and even a bar on future travel to the United States. If any educational advisor or academic organization suggests that such actions are permissible under a student visa, we strongly recommend students contact the Embassy immediately in order to prevent committing visa fraud. It is the responsibility of the student to ensure that he or she is in accordance with the law. Continue reading “USA welcomes prospective students from India”

Greed or Fear … or Love!

Greed, fear…. or love – A thought on our daily life and behavior

It is very easy to understand this world; well, most of the time. Most of the time, people are selfish and shallow, restricted by the ‘acceptable behavior’ or social norms. Every person tries to be accepted first rather than worrying about accepting others. Everyone tries to blend in, rather than standing out. Very few have the courage to be different.

We are always so eager to point out differences and how to deal with them. We are preoccupied with ‘differences’ and how to treat them, how to react to them. In reality, if you look deep and far enough, no one is really that different unless you treat them differently – that is, unless you discriminate. Knowingly or unknowingly, we often discriminate in everyday life, and then we talk about equality and diversity – perhaps, just to make us feel better, for our own ego. By end of the day, we are all looking for ways to reduce these differences, forcing ourselves and those who are different to blend in! We can blame this all on our own fears or our own ego.

We are not as complicated as we claim to be. Most of our actions are controlled by one of the two motives – greed or fear, and quite often greed and fear. Most of our day-to-day existence is merely limited to our routine stuff, routines that revolve around our greed and fear.

The biggest shackle to our personal progress and freedom of thought is the fear of rejection or the greed of acceptance. That is a reality; freedom of thought is often suppressed by the social norms. Perhaps, that is why we talk about fantasies, dreams and the perfect world… Continue reading “Greed or Fear … or Love!”

Too educated to be kicked off New York train or racism!

This one is juts plain weird!
“Do you know what schools I’ve been to? How well-educated I am?” A picture is worth a thousand words; how about a video!!

Here is an incident involving a brown woman traveling on New York’s Metro North train, recorded by a fellow passenger. Obviously, she is telling the train employee that she is too “well-educated” to be told to quiet down and not use profanity on her cell-phone. The video shows the employee explaining to another employee that she asked the passenger to stop using the “F-bomb” in her cell-phone conversation. The train employee happens to be black.

The whole thing is sad and the attitude of this ‘self-claimed well educated’ woman is somewhat strange, to say the least. You can watch the video on the YouTube here:

We don’t know if she went to Harvard or Yale, or even if she is really Indian Noting that she has looks of a south Asian or Indian American woman, the observations range from ‘a plain idiotic’ to ‘a class issue’ to ‘a racial discrimination’.

Here are some of the comments (warning: some comments include adult language):
“…a case of interactions between blacks/browns based on perceived differences in socioeconomic status. Some sociologists do attribute that to “white-washing” and differentiating oneself from “them”…..”
“What we have here is a brown woman who thinks being rude to a black woman is going to make her less brown….”


“These INDIANS are coming over, taking American jobs, getting a chance to leave their wretched country for a better life…..and on top of that they have ATTITUDE!”

“it’s really sad that you got thumbs up for your bigoted comment when a) you don’t know if she is indeed of Indian descent and b) she obviously is American yet you’re the kind of mouth-breading cocksuckers who tell people to go back to a country with which the only thing they have in common is ethnicity. She’s a bitch, sure, but she doesn’t speak for women, ivy leaguers, Indians, or wherever the f* you think she’s from. Crack a f*ing book sometime.” Continue reading “Too educated to be kicked off New York train or racism!”

How to improve your body language

Ten tip on improving your body language

Watch any great and effective speaker; the body language plays a key role in our communication. Body language includes non-verbal communication such as body posture, gestures, facial expressions and eye movements.

Depending on the circumstances and who you talk to, the body language will differ. However, here are some important tips on how to improve your body language for effective communication:

1. Make eye contact, but don’t stare: Make eye contact while speaking or listening but not too much. Too much eye contact may look like staring and may distract the other person. You can find a happy medium with practice.

2. Relax your body, don’t fidget: Relax, don’t be nervous. Maintain a relaxed pose instead of all stiffened up. Avoid or minimize fidgety movement and nervous ticks. Do not shake your leg or tap your fingers against some surface.

3. Maintain some distance: In many cultures, people get too close or even all touchy feely. If other person starts to step back, you know that you are invading their space. You can lean forward to make a point or listen, but don’t be in other person’s face. Continue reading “How to improve your body language”

The art of elocution

Elocution – The secret of effective speaking

In movie The King’s Speech (2010), while watching a clip of Hitler speaking in German language:
Lilibet: What’s he saying?
King George VI: I don’t know but… he seems to be saying it rather well….

And, you ofter hear people saying:
“Choose your words carefully; you may have to eat them!”….

“Be careful what you say; it may come back to bite you!”….

Yes, it is important what you say. But equally important, perhaps more important is how you say it. After all, it is not what comes out of your mouth, but how you deliver it. Your style, your tone, your body language….all that adds up to the actual message.

Elocution is the basis of effective communication skills. Elocution is the art of clear and concise manner of speaking, with clarity of meaning and thought. Elocution originates from the word ‘eloquence’ – fluent, elegant or persuasive speaking. It is the knowledge of expressing strong emotions in striking and appropriate language and with the power of persuasion.

Effective speech has deep roots in elocution – the pronunciation, the accent, the grammar, the tone and the gestures play a key role in forming a meaningful and desired message. Elocution is been considered a key aspect of learning the art of communications. The art of elocution has been dissected, studied and taught in the schools for a long time. According to McGuffey’s New Sixth Eclectic Reader of 1857, the key principles of elocution are:
I. Articulation
II. Inflections
III. Accent and Emphasis
IV. The Voice
V. Gesture
VI. Instructions for Reading Verse

I. Articulation: How you phrase your message and enunciate it, how you put your thoughts into proper words is the most important aspect of effective speech. By definition, articulation is the act of vocal expression and enunciation; it is the act or manner of producing a speech sound. Continue reading “The art of elocution”

Fraility of life – A short term memory

Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh. ~George Bernard Shaw

The life – precious yet fragile. If we look around, we are constantly reminded of the fact that life is short; it is perishable at any moment. Everyday, everywhere, there is something or someone pointing to this sad truth.

Yes, it is sad, if you think about it; the thoughts about your own demise can easily put you off. May be that is why we rarely think about it – uncertain in time, yet a sure ending of our journey!

There is nothing you can do about this; the life, just like a book, comes with the last chapter. You can delay the inevitable by being careful – eating healthy, staying fit and keeping a positive outlook. You can even try extreme measures – hiding in the basement and never crossing the train track… You can postpone it if you are lucky, but it is the law of nature – you can delay your end but you cannot avoid it.

In spite of the well known path and a steady march towards the end, we are rarely bothered by it. We barely think about it. We see others go, but you never imagine yourself in that coffin. Continue reading “Fraility of life – A short term memory”

Women are better than men at almost everything!

“Women Are Better Cops, Drivers, Gamblers, Spies, World Leaders, Beer Tasters, Hedge Fund Managers, and Just About Everything Else.” ~From ‘Man Down’ by Dan Abrams

Well, there goes the male ego! Men probably think that they are better drivers than the female counterparts, better handymen, and for sure better at saving the world! However, nobody seems to agree with that! Study after study, there are all kinds of proofs stacked up against the manly pride. And, many say, without any doubt, that woman is better than man in almost everything.

1. Women can handle more pain than men: Yes, there are all kinds of studies including those from researchers at the University of Bath, medical journal ‘Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery’ and ‘Myth busters’ confirming that women can tolerate pain better than men.

2. Women do better in the field of medicine: This is according to studies done in 2009 by the British government with respect to a database of information on all the investigations of medical misconduct or incompetence over a period of eight years. The study found that while 40 percent of doctors were women, 80 percent of those under investigation were men.

3. Women make better world leaders: A study by the Pew Research Center found that when people ranked men or women as superior in traits deemed ”very important or absolutely essential” to leadership, seven out of eight attributes chosen had women listed as equal to or better than men.

4. Women have a better sense of smell and taste: And, they can apply it to just about anything, including beer tasting! Continue reading “Women are better than men at almost everything!”

Commonsense tips on investing and investment ideas

Commonsense tips on investing while living home or abroad

“It is a wise man who lives with money in the bank, it is a fool who dies that way.” ~ French Proverb

No matter where you live, the financial planning and investment approach is not much different. By end of the day, the general goal is:

  • Spend less than you earn
  • Save for the rainy days
  • Maximize the return on investment without taking huge risks
  • Save for the future and retirement days
  • Enjoy life – money is a mean to live, not the ultimate goal

This article is based on the personal experiences in investing; no formal education in investing or financial planning here. DO NOT base your investment decisions solely on these tips. This is a simple advice from one investor to another. Your situation and circumstances may vary, so this may not apply to everyone.

These are some of the useful and commonsense tips on investing:

1. Save: Yes, the first principle to maximize your net capital or net portfolio is to save. The saving does not always mean being overly frugal or cutting down on the basic needs like food consumptions (while that may not be a bad idea in many cases). Consider eliminating the unnecessary spending and waste. ‘50 tips on saving’ (below) is good article if you are looking for ideas on how to save.

2. Emergency fund: Before investing, it is always a good idea to have emergency fund that you can draw on, in case of emergency – such as loss of employment. Many suggest that you should have enough money readily available so you and your family can live off it for at least six months. Many other suggest having enough emergency funds for a full one year. Based on personal situation, decide on the size of the emergency fund. This money can sit in the savings accounts or other low risk options like short term certificates of deposits or low risk money market funds etc. Continue reading “Commonsense tips on investing and investment ideas”