Every culture, every place has its own unique traditions, some meaningless, some plain weird. We follow many trivial customs as a part of our culture, not because they are important but because it is part of our past!
Here is another tradition, followed every year soon after the Thanksgiving holidays: the calculations of ‘True Cost of Christmas’, or the cost of True Love, as some call it.
This ‘True Cost of Christmas’ or the price of True Love is calculated based on the current price of the items or commodities mentioned in the carol “The Twelve Days of Christmas.”
To refresh your memory of the carol, it goes like this:
On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me
a partridge in a pear tree
Perhaps written to settle a bar bet or perhaps written as a challenge, it is said that Ernest Hemingway wrote this ‘short short story’. Only 6 words long, the story has a beginning, a middle and an end. These are thought provoking 6 words forming a story-line. Perhaps, a woman’s life-long pain described in 6 words. Continue reading “Baby Shoes by Hemingway”
“So kyon Manda Aakhiye Jit Jamme Rajan” (On female gender equality: “why call ‘her’ inferior? From her, the Kings are born”) ~ Guru Nanak dev
November 10, 2011 marks the birthday anniversary of the Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji (1469 – 1539 CE) and is commonly known as GURPURAB. This is one of the most auspicious days for the Sikh religion.
Guru Nanak Dev lived an exemplary life. He was a poet, a philosopher and a saint – all combined into a human being that was above and beyond any religion. His writings came long before the Sikh religion was born. His contributions go beyond Sikhism and beyond Punjabi culture.
Guru Nanak Dev lived his life to the fullest. He traveled all over the places, meeting saints and sufis from all casts and creeds along the way. Some of his journeys lasted many years. On one of his journeys to the west, he went all the way to Mecca, Madina and Baghdad. His another journey to the south touched Sri Lanka. His extensive travels were not only to spread the message of God, but to learn from the wisdom of those he encountered along the way. Continue reading “Gurpurab and Guru Nanak Dev’s Message”
A tribute to Steve Jobs and his quotes- an entrepreneur, an inventor, a thinker in his own words…
“There may be no greater tribute to Steve Jobs’ success than the fact that much of the world learned of his passing on a device he invented.” ~ Barack Obama
Steve Jobs, in very simple words, changed the way we go about our work, or the way we think. With innovations like iPod, iPhone and iPad, the man has revolutionized our daily lives.
In real life, Steve Jobs was more than an entrepreneur or an inventor or a business leader. He is the true example of living – the way a life should be.
Steve grew up as an adopted child, raised by a lower middle class family in California. He dropped out of of college after first semester….
Steve Jobs was not an isolated computer nerd or a geek. He looked at the world with a keen eye. He was deeply philosophical during his youth and wanted to study and experience spiritualism. His quest for spiritual enlightenment brought him to India in 1974 summer…. Continue reading “Steve jobs: An example of a life well lived!”
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!”
“I am incomplete without Mohammad Rafi. I used to often go for the recoding of my song, which was sung by Rafi, only because I used to like telling him how I would perform on this song on screen so that he can sing it that way. Even he liked my involvement” ~ Shammi Kapoor
This is an understatement that Mohammed Rafi has left a lasting and permanent impression on the Indian music. In fact, Rafi and Indian film music are inseparable.
Just try to imagine the soulful and broken-heart songs from Guru Dutt without the playback voice of Rafi; or try imagining Dev Anand’s movies without Rafi’s songs – ranging from romantic to sad. Shammi Kapoor’s jumping-jack and light-hearted dance numbers are impossible without Rafi. It is inconceivable to think of Indian movies of 50s, 60s and 70s without Rafi’s melodies.
When it comes to the Indian Music, Rafi was a true genius. From classical to folk, from sad to romantic, from religious to dancing tunes – he was able to sing every genre with equal finesse. For every mood, for every occasion, you can always find memorable numbers from Rafi. The man could sing anything, and in any range of octaves.
“Chaudhvin Ka Chand Ho”(1960, Chaudhvin Ka Chand)
“Chahunga Main Tujhe” (1964, Dosti)
“Baharo Phool Barsao” (1966, Suraj)
“Dil Ke Jharoke Mein” (1968, Brahmachari)
“Kya Hua Tera Wada” (1977, Hum Kisi Se Kum Nahin)
“Maine Poocha Chand Se” (1980, Abdullah)
“Yeh Jo Chilman Hai” (1971, Mehboob Ki Mehandi)
“Khilona Jaan Kar” (1970, Khilona)
“Suhani Raat Dhal Chuki” (1949, Dulari) Continue reading “Rafi – the versatile maestro of Indian Music”
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!”
A set of 10 questions and multiple choice format – this is a simple quiz related to Cricket World Cup 2011.
Are you a cricket fan and did you follow the World Cup?
Try this quiz and see for yourself!!
Please go to Cricket World Cup 2011 – A Quiz to view the quiz
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.
“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.
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”
The wandering thoughts – the home abroad and the long gone past
It is human nature – we are always daydreaming, often lost in our own thoughts. Thinking about past or future and imagining hypothetical scenarios is a part of our day-to-day life. We are never content with what we have, always thinking about ‘what could be’ or ‘what could have been’.
Millions of us leave our homes and our countries to go abroad, searching for a better future, looking for a better life. Some leave by choice – because we want to try new things and new places; others leave because of necessity, because they have to – for one reason or another.
Regardless of where we are and what we have accomplished, we are never satisfied with what we got. Once we go abroad, once we establish ourselves in the the new place, our mind wanders and thinks about going back to the motherland – where we originally come from. It is not because we need to, it is not because we have to; it is because of our nature – we are never satisfied with what we have. The present is never enough!
Most of the immigrants, no matter how long they have been away from their own country or how good life they live in the new place, have nostalgic attachment to their homeland. It is nothing new; it is part of being human. We never let go of the past, especially if past involves sweet memories of childhood. adolescence and youth.
Many of us – settled abroad, often think about going back, returning for good. Even after we have made new life in the new country, the thought of going back often creeps into our minds. It is a good nostalgic memory of past. Most of us think about it – going back permanently, but very few actually try it. And those who return to their motherland, the experience is often not what they expected or what we imagined. Continue reading “The wandering thoughts – living abroad and the past”
Dear New Year!
Welcome! I have been waiting for you since… um..Christmas!!
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for arriving on time. Really, I mean it. It is hard to believe what a difference a day can make; well, in this case – a night!
The whole thing is so sweet, the world watching your arrival with a crazy zeal, with joyful frenzy! As the seconds tick-tock to midnight – in those few seconds, a brand new year is born! And, the entire previous is forgotten, just in those few moments! All the sorrows of the ‘last’ year, all the unkept promises, all the unresolved goals – everything becomes an old past – obsolete. It is amazing how good we are at forgetting yesterday; our selective memory-loss is something to be um….proud of.
And rightfully so. Why should I mourn the dying past if there is choice to celebrate the future, to celebrate the birth of a new year!
So, drear New Year, as you can see, this is a new chapter of my life. I have written off the last year already – completely forgotten. I have even replaced my old resolutions with new ones – simple cut and paste.
Now, with new optimism, I am planning something big, something great, something large! For a change, I really want to DO something this year. I know, I know,… I have said this before to your elder brother – the last year, or perhaps many others before that. But, let the bygones be bygones. Let the past be a history. This time I am dead serious; this time, I am motivated to make a difference in my life. Continue reading “Thank you New Year, this time I mean it”