Permanent happiness – Favorite Season


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My Favorite Season will be a season or a moment when everyone finds out his / her purpose in life. My favorite season is the one when we achieve Permanent Happiness.

How often have you seen dragging yourself going from one thing to the other, from one place to the other and doing it because you “have” to do it. You do things because those are either social obligation or because these are required for survival. How many times – many of us – do things because you “want” to do it.

A time when everyone of us is doing what he/she wants to do we hopefully will see more constructive world. A world where if it rains it would be the best thing that can happen, if it is chilling winter it would be good and summers would also be enjoyable. Thankfully, I have witnessed almost every harsh season – almost flooding rains, harsh summers and for a short time, almost 0 degree winters. Even with these seasons, I could not find my favorite season, because when it was summer I was waiting for rains or winter, during rainy days I waited for sun to show up and so on. If we are not satisfied inside we cannot be happy. May be permanent happiness is a mirage!

It has been a quest for some years for me to identify the purpose of my life. After my MBA, there was a mail in my mail box – Manager Marketing for a liquor brand.

I asked one of my professor’s – “Sir I received this mail, should I give it a try?” happiness

He in return asked me – “do you feel excited about it?”

I said – “Sir I am a teetotaler, I do not encourage people drinking.”

He said – “Don’t even apply there. This job does not sound aligned to your personality. I am not saying you cannot do good work in this organization, but even if you do awesome in this role, you would end up losing yourself on your principles. It would make you dissatisfied in life.”

His point was – identify what you “want” to do, not what you “have” to do. There may be situations when answers are not straightforward – I want to do marketing. The job is for marketing. You will have to be more specific in that case – “Ok, not marketing of tobacco or liquor”.

Once I had been offered a similar situation. There are three businesses, online gambling, jewelry ecommerce and some other if you had money where would you invest? I selected jewelry ecommerce even though on all calculations I could find online gambling offers the biggest opportunity in terms of RoI (Returns on Investment). The person asked me why? I said I would not want to compromise on my principles, I do not encourage gambling and therefore even if it offers me better returns I would not consider this business.

If all of us can make rational decision on what we enjoy doing our works wont remain works, they would become hobbies. That time would be the best time for our society – that would be the best season to live on earth. Is not it? Otherwise – permanent happiness is a mirage!

This week’s topic for LBC was “My Favourite Season” suggested by Ramana uncleji. As usual I twisted it as per my choice – what I want to write instead of what I have to write. 🙂 You can read other blogs of other Loose Bloggers Consortium members at Ramana Uncleji, Shackman and Lin.

Image source –

Interdependence and insurance


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As it had been for last 10 years, this February also, I abhorred writing a fat cheque to my insurance company. I hated the agent who had sold me those policies and almost made a fool out of me. Yes I always felt that he duped / robbed me by selling these policies and just for the sake of saving taxes I had to pay so much as premium. I never wanted to learn from my MBA class of financial accounting on managing risks.

Social SupportNot just that, I have received N number of calls from so called WHO, which asks for funding heart, eye, kidney etc surgery of a baby boy or a girl. These calls have always been met with a cold no, or suggesting that I have assisted in other such causes or “I am a DND registered customer why are you calling me?” These calls sound spurious so there are interesting crowd funding support system such as – Watsi, Ketto Milaap etc.

Recently, one of my family member had to be admitted to hospital and undergo a surgery. Thankfully, this person was covered under insurance. I realized the value of insurance. I revisited the concepts of insurance. Insurance is distribution and transfer of risk. In our case, we had been paying premium for last couple of years (during this time it looks as if the amount is gone in vain). Eventually, we needed this risk manager to take charge.

What insurance companies do is pooling and redistributing of risks. It sounds very weird. What pooling of risk means is going to many people covering them under insurance at a premium by charging some money. This premium amount is invested in different investment instruments. Whenever someone amoungst the insured faces the risk (under which the insured is covered), insurance company pays the amount as per their terms – this is called as redistribution.

I am healthy, so for me it is a “cost” I know I wont fall sick and I am also sure that I wont die sooner, so why pay this premium and get covered for something that is not going to happen to me? This is the point young people ask themselves. But you never know when you need such assistance. There are circumstances when you may need such help. I drive safe, what is the guarantee the other person wont jump signal and bang my vehicle?

I am not trying to sell any insurance. I am here to explain a very interesting concept that we all do support each other when we buy an insurance. If I do not and would not need that money, I am sure someone else in the pool is going to be benefited by the money which I have helped create – interdependence!

This concept of interdependence is not new to me or to Indian philosophical system. The Buddha talked about it as one of the lessons – Interdependent co-arising. In fact when I was reading about insurance I came across this (source Insurance Regulatory Development Authority India) –

In India, insurance has a deep-rooted history. It finds mention in the writings of Manu (Manusmrithi), Yagnavalkya (Dharmasastra) and Kautilya (Arthasastra). The writings talk in terms of pooling of resources that could be re-distributed in times of calamities such as fire, floods, epidemics and famine. This was probably a pre-cursor to modern day insurance. Ancient Indian history has preserved the earliest traces of insurance in the form of marine trade loans and carriers’ contracts.

Is not it an interesting thing? That we support each other even without knowing and help ourselves too. The challenge comes when insurance companies reject your claim and money and greed becomes primary focus instead of helping someone in need even after covered under insurance. This blog post is already very long, so I hope reader will understand the challenges in this industry and greed seeping in the system.

Image source –

Dalits in India, Dividing work, birth or none?


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Perhaps in middle school (6th to 8th), we learnt a lesson on why crows are our best friends and what we can learn from them. They eat dead animals and therefore keep our surrounding clean. We need to learn from them that whenever they see something to eat they always invite their fellow crows and all of them eat it together – what camaraderie, isnt it? But alas! as we grow we forget these small things we learnt as kids.

Perhaps Krishna knew it all, he suggested Draupadi (Panchali) to reject Karna and thus Panchali said – Karna is a son of lower caste and I wont accept him as my husband. This – for my readers who have not heard of Mahabharat or know the context – was an India where girl (if not all, at least daughters of Kings), had the freedom to decide who she wants to marry. This was called Swayamvar – or a competition – where husband was selected by his capabilities by the girl. This kind of Swayamvars are recorded in history – be it Rama or Prithviraj Chauhan (12 century AD). Compare it with arrange marriage system of say two generations back when such decision was not that easy to offer to girl. This was an India where even if Krishna (God in human form as per Indian scriptures) was alive, abilities of Karna was proved secondary than caste (family’s profession).

We have heard many such incidents in Indian history when a untouchable became center of discussion – be it Shabari who fed Rama only sweet berries by tasting those first. Here untouchable was first tasting the fruit and than offering it to Rama. Or be it a story of Eklavya. He approached Dronacharya (Drona) who refused him, later asked him to chop off his thumb to offer it as fee of teaching. Or the story of Sunita during time of the Buddha.

I dislike the concept of caste system of India to the core. Slowly I moved away from the ritualistic religion to spiritual part of religion. I read parts of Bhagavad Geeta too. When I read Chapter 4 verse 13 of the Geeta I interpreted it in my own way, thank god at least Hinduism offers differing with the pandits; I can have my owns interpretation of the scriptures (ref recent controversy of Irrfan Khan).

(Sanskrit) चातुर्वर्ण्यं मया सृष्टं गुणकर्मविभागशः । Sunita “Lord, I do not dare come closer. I am an untouchable.”
तस्य कर्तारमपि मां विद्धयकर्तारमव्ययम्‌ ॥

(Transliteration) catur-varnyam maya srstam, guna-karma-vibhagasah
tasya kartaram api mam, viddhy akartaram avyayam

I infer this as follows – “I created four sub-division of society based on work and attribute. Even after doing this I am above and beyond this division.” Remember Krishna does not say that the division is based on birth, it is based on work and attribute of work.

Listen to other language translation here, I cannot say it this translation reflects my opinion.

In whatever ways Indian society has misinterpreted the concept completely. This whole caste system implementation has gone awry. I believe the concept could have been, teach kids and when they grow up their abilities will put them to different works and thus their work in society will be divided in four sub-divisions! Even if this sounds justification of the caste system, I still dislike the caste system. Everyone must have his/her fair opportunity to learn and try what and how one wants to work in the society. I hope the capitalistic economics and current open access to opportunities will offer an evolved society. Currently it is just a hope, as we read the news about atrocities against Dalits. It has been close to 70 years, but if we still see these news in media either there is something wrong with our society or media is giving coverage to it only now!

Just fresh graduate from college and I’d just joined my first job, where I was selected through campus interview. I resigned within few weeks stating I’d have done this work after my 10th, if I were to do it. My brother taught me at that time – “no work is bad, low or menial. Do not look at your resignation from your first job as an ego issue. Accept it ‘you would not have enjoyed doing it.‘ If you want to start a company, it is upto you, if you want to study further, be into R&D be it. Even if you are gardening, be the best of the gardener you could be. Do it to the best of your abilities, no work is low or menial and never forget this lesson.

I could relate to his lesson in many sense, be it a crow’s nature to clean our surrounding inadvertently or our society having different people performing different acts, we have to balance and accept that everyone does what best he/she can do for the society. There may be instances when one’s abilities are not utilized (as was in my first job); at that time he/she has to decide to move on and do what makes more sense to him/her. In today’s world when a person makes competitive strategy – he/she is Kshtriya (warrior clan in Indian caste system). When the same person presents his concept or shares his knowledge he/she is Brahaman (Pundit, teacher clan in Indian caste system). As a startup CEO (Chief Everything from dusting room to meeting clients to executing tasks) when one cleans his desk, prepares tea, drives somewhere or designs product/service he/she is Shudra or Vaishya (lower caste or businessman clan in Indian caste system). In current social and economic setup we cannot rely on the definition of works of previous times. We need to either define things in newer manner or perhaps just get rid of the division itself.

There may have been roads paved with good intentions (by dividing work & caste system), but could not have lead to heaven at least. We started dividing society not on work but on birth. We decided one work is better than the other – but this is be good.

Government’s “job”


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As usual Monday morning, my milkman – Ramlal – rang the doorbell. I opened the door, with his endless smile he poured milk in my container and returned it to me. I know he is an old man from Uttar Pradesh – a state in India, he had gone to his village for sowing in his farm in the fag end of summers. During this time when he was not in Mumbai, his son used to deliver milk.

My milkman is a hardworking person. At this age he cycles about 10 km delivering milk about 25 ltr daily. He comes delivering milk from different places to my home at 6:30 AM, he starts from home at 5 AM. I asked him that day – “Ramlalji after delivering milk what to you do?” I was under an impression he drives auto or mostly remains at home as his son might be working. He said he goes to a catering place and works as cook. I thought he does that only during day, he said in the evening too he works there.

FarmerI was surprised, was happy for him that he has some work and is keeping himself busy. However, it made me question Why do so many people migrate to Mumbai or other big cities? In fact I am too an immigrant to Mumbai its been 10+ years I am here. People migrate from UP or Bihar to Mumbai or any other big cities because in their home state they do not find suitable employment. Almost same was the case for me, even if I want to go back to MP (where my parents still live), I would not be able to find a relevant employment opportunity for myself.

Furthermore, I asked myself, why so, cant I go back to MP? Why cant I find relevant work for myself? In my case I don’t see any such company there in MP where my skills can be utilized. Even if I consider starting my owns company I have to come to other big cities for getting work! This is about organized sector, what about Ramlal ji, my milkman? Can he not go back to his village? He is struggling for two square meals in Mumbai. It is so expensive a place e.g you can buy bottle gourd in INR 10 per kg (Indore – by population 14th biggest city of India), we pay as much as INR 60 in Mumbai (prices of July 2016); prices must be far less in a village. Not just my milkman, I have spoken with various auto/taxi drivers in Mumbai, they say the same – if I get work in my hometown, why would I leave everything? Some had told me their monthly financials too – they save as much  as INR 3000 a month.

While I was ruminating about these things I asked myself where is the problem? Let us say there is Charm in Mumbai – city of dreams – so many people migrate here. But is it the only reason? Not all come to Mumbai to be another Amitabh Bachchan! Why would a villager who can save only INR 3000 a month want to come here, where he has to living in a 10X10 square feet room with 5 to 8 other people in almost a slum? Many come here because they do not have any work to do in their village. So, what is the role of Government? Well, we can talk at length about Government; in India Govt has 3 basic building blocks – Judiciary, legislators and administrator and so on. I was thinking to concentrate on only one thing when I looked at the situation of Ramlal ji. Point is, even after living in such conditions, spending about 10X extra on food only, they save 3000 which is far better than being in village. Means there in the village or nearby area there is not employment opportunity that can fetch them better returns / savings!

The job of Govt also include creating job opportunities, isnt it? Well, those who think of capitalism may argue entrepreneurship is a solution. Well, after 2008 US Govt has also been looking at a key metric to consider many policy decisions – the unemployment rate. It has become as important or perhaps more important than rate of inflation in the US, isnt it? India is a developing nation, the State and Union Govt has a big responsibility to create job opportunities – mind it, we do not need NREGA (employment Guarantee Scheme). Reasons – a recent case here (you can find many if you search on net) another reason is – our citizen do not necessarily need to just dig holes there may be many people who are educated and need other suitable opportunity to work, isnt it?

The least State Govts can do is – creating employment opportunities in their states, be it UP, Bihar, MP or any other state. How long Ramlal ji (or Aarti Amma) will keep on shuffling between village and Mumbai to just earn two square meals & saving a few thousand rupee?

Ambitions, selfishness or fear?


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I was watching Gulal (A Hindi Movies by Anurag Kashyap) yesterday, somehow, it is available on Youtube.


That movie revolves around State of Rajasthan, kings of that state and their wish to get independent Rajasthan – independent from India. At first it sounds very weird, as the story unfolds different characters start playing their strategies for their own benefits. Whatever happens in the movie, that movie reminded me of Brexit – British Exit from the European Union.

After watching the movie, I was going through the documents of European Union. EU came into existence after two consecutive world wars. The wars which involved almost the whole world but centered around Europe. Just imagine a Europe between 1920 to 1938 (between the two world wars, or the Europe just after 1945. There was enmity, conflicts and the fight for economic dominance. This all actually ended with economic agreement! Isn’t it interesting?

The foundation of EU was more on economic development, social development – let me call it human development. Quote from EU website – “The EU regional policy starts to transfer huge sums of money to create jobs and infrastructure in poorer areas.” Such a wonderful concept that people can cross man-made borders, do business without trouble and follow one set of rules yet their countries do not lose their identity. Just imagine all European countries making a team to compete in Olympics or Fifa world cup!

The EU regional policy starts to transfer huge sums of money to create jobs and infrastructure in poorer areas.

EC-EU-enlargement_animationThe union started 21st century with a couple of aims – Peace in member states, Citizen’s security, economic and social solidarity. Such lofty goals require enormous efforts. These efforts at times become lobbying for one or the other. No doubt there may have been political and business interest groups who might be trying to get better deals or benefits for themselves. This type of lobbying – or cheating in some ways – can only be stopped when there is genuine connect to develop others and heartfelt desire to help those in need. EU adds close to 20% to the world GDP, what is more important to note is – its population is only is only 7% of the world population.

Just imagine if we get to see such geographic unions in other parts of the world, such as South East Asian Union or South American Union. These type of geopolitical, economical and social unions would require building trust first. A caution the union must only be on two fronts – economic development and social welfare. No! don’t even think of religion – religion is and must be an individual pursuit, those who make religion a group’s belief they mostly want to gain power. Also, religion is only used mostly for generating fear in the heart and mind of followers.

The movie Gulal had a very selfish and political motive. Can we compare that story of Gulal with British Exit from European Union? At times my mind says yes and other times no. No because it was a democratic decision, based on votes from common people. The statistics says older people were not in favor of remaining in EU. Reason – they were getting affected in many respect on personal level. By the way, these old people are the same who had benefited some or the other ways from being a part of EU.

My mind says yes because who says canvassing was not done? Who says there was no political motives, selfish goals? Who can deny all these? It has repeatedly proved that we select being individually smart and therefore we are collectively dumb – British exit from EU is an example of the same. Though we may argue that parts of Britain was against it and 51 to 49 cannot be generalized.

Also heard that those who voted against were fearful of immigrants. I wonder how big is the problem of immigrants in Britain! Of late, the fear of immigrant is evident in a way – every morning I am waking up to a city trending on twitter. There is some or the other attack at some place, European Union was built for peace and social uplifting – not for terrorist attacks.

My question came a full circle from the movie Gulal to British Exit to Gulal again – What drives people? What drives an individual? Ambition, selfishness or fear? I wish in future we would not be driven fear and selfishness and, in future we would see such union and countries coming together to prosper together, instead of people terrorizing and killing fellow human beings. This wish includes economic and social development – religion is a very personal affair, it should not come on streets and should not be forced.

Disclaimer – Author supports such collaboration and unification as done by the European Union. Such unions would one day make our world more connected and the interdependence will help us embrace each other with our respect, trust and support to each other as fellow human being rather than black or white, European or Asian or for that matter capitalist or socialist. We indeed are interdependent.

Image source – Wikipedia

Happy Guru Purnima Day


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Who taught you first lesson in your life? Your parents, right? They are special. Who taught you the basics to you? Your teacher, right? They are special too. In Indian culture a teacher has a special place. The one who helps you in self-realization is called Guru in Indian cultures & religions be it Jainism, Buddhism or Hinduism. This Guru is considered even more important than the Gods themselves. Saint Kabir said –

Guruji(Hindi) गुरु गोविन्द दोऊ खड़े, काको लागूं पायं।
बलिहारी गुरु आपने, गोविन्द दियो बताय।।


Guru gobind dou khade, kaake lagoon paay
Balihari guru aapne, gobind diyo batay

(A simple translation) – Almighty (the God) and Guru both are standing right here, who should I bow to? Oh master (Guru) I bestow/pray/offer to you; you showed me the path to the almighty.

Guru is special because he showed you the path to the almighty.

This is somewhat confusing way – yet very interesting – of Saint Kabir, he says Guru you showed me to bow to the almighty (when the disciple reached the destination). The other is I (the disciple) bow to you because you showed me the path.

Dada GavandBoth ways this is a wonderful cuplet of saint Kabir.

I had the privilege of meeting few enlightened masters in my life. It has been my experience that when you are near the master (Guru) your questions dissolve. You do not have anything to ask anything to complain about. This happened to me whenever I met Dada ji (at least three times in my life time). I happened to meet Guruji (Sri Sri Ravishankar) last year. When you get to meet an enlightened master at least for the time being when you are around him/her you wont have any questions and desires that feeling is out of the world.

Happy Guru Poornima.

Millennials and the future


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Old days our ancestors used to communicate using sign language. Historians have found out wall painting in many civilizations and have discussed about usage of sign languages. We humans evolved, grew and became intelligent so started speaking, reading and writing when languages were born. Or perhaps the signs were difficult to remember over a period of time, thus language was born. We have evolved. With time, a lot of developments have happened. Now we communicate across the globe.

Development happens in cycles, so now after so much of development we have again started speaking in sign language. We call this sign language – smiley. Many a times one has to refer to the ‘dictionary’ to understand what is the meaning of that smiley. Specially that is the case with older generation (I am a part of that). Millennials are different species – well that is how media, marketeer and many people think. Millennials understand these sign language with ease. Though as per definition I should be part of millennials but I dont understand the sign language.

Many studies state that Millennials are different compared to the older counterparts. I am of the opinion that every generation is more evolved compared to previous one. Generation of my parents were busy settling down. My generation is little adventurous, millennials are freer, more connected and apparently they have more concerns for society.

There are many studies on Millennials, because they are going to be the biggest spender & biggest target audience for marketeers. Some studies say that Millennials are more concerned about environment, more connected, driven by sharing, more inclined towards social justice & balance and are more spiritual than religious One study. Now organizations also care for CSR, however shallow that could be. Hopefully this will be true one day – let them fake CSR until they make it. I am sure millennials will make this transition sincere with time.

When I read about millennials I thought in another direction. Sheer size of this generation is making us note these characteristics. Of course these are key traits of this generation, but still the sheer volume is making us notice this. There must have been people in previous generation who had similar thoughts but the numbers, perhaps the ability to measure was less at that time. There are very contrary analysis also done – Millennials less spiritual and less religious too, Millennials less religious but more spiritual either these are really contrary findings or it has been the norm for generations; earlier it was not measured now it is.

Yuga – Sadhguru. Isha Yoga

According to Indian philosophy, the generations evolve, this happens in a cyclic fashion. Yes perhaps therefore we are moving towards spirituality now. I came across an interesting video by Sadhguru on this same thought, the video is not available now but the article is, read it here.

If I try to connect the dots of what Sadhguru said and that of characteristics displayed by the millennials, we are likely to see a more interconnected society and more compassion and empathetic time to come. Wish my this prediction comes out to be true and terrorism stops, not by guns perhaps by the power of interdependence.

This was last weeks title for LBC, unfortunately I could not write last week as I had two sessions on IPR – one for faculty development and one for startups those two sessions took precedence over my weekly commitments. So I missed writing. Read other’s who write on LBC here – Rummuser, Shackman.



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As always Buddha was walking with a few of his followers from one town to the other. En route they crossed a small rivulet. All the Bhikkus and the Buddha crossed the water body. After crossing some distance from the rivulet the Buddha told one of his disciples “I am thirsty, can you get me some water for me?”

The disciple responded, we just crossed a rivulet a while back I will bring water from there.Meditation

Since the group had just crossed the rivulet, the water had become very muddy and turbid.

The disciple thought “How can I give this muddy water to Buddha to drink?”

The disciple came back and told Buddha “The water in there is very muddy. I don’t think it is fit to drink. There must be another water body nearby I shall fetch water from there”

The Buddha told the disciple to go back to the same place but this time around wait for some time. The disciple went back, and found that the water was still muddy, but as the Buddha had suggested to him to wait, he waited for some time.

After some time, the disciple found the mud had settled down, and the water was clean. He collected some water in a pot and brought it to Buddha.

Buddha looked at the water, and then he looked up at the disciple and said “See what you did to make the water clean. You let it be and the mud settled down on its own and you have clear water.”

Meditation is not “doing” it is happening / being; it is effortless.

I heard this story in my Art of Living course way back in 2004.

Down The Garden Path


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Down the garden path went Adam
He found and Apple to fathom

He could not understand the depth
Because the apple was from the knowledge tree

Eve was cajoled by the serpent
She forced her husband Kingdom of God

Came upon Adm the curse
Life for you will be arduous

Wish Adam & Eve had not walked
Down the garden path

The story sounds so strange, why would God curse any of his / her creation? There are variation to the story that God punish the ground and not Adam. My point has always been – if God isn’t someone who is compassionate, why should we call him / her God?

Story source of the stories of God cursing Adam and cursing ground –

LBC – Peace Of Mind


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When I read the topic for Loose Bloggers Consortium, the very first thing came to my mind was this video from Kung Fu Panda 2. The other thought was that I have written a lot of blogs related to peace of mind earlier.

The conclusion of every blog post is that peace of mind comes from within and not outside. For example –

In the blog Peace of Mind – I started of thinking peace of mind comes from owning something or being at peace is independent of owning anything? I reasoned out that peace of mind is not in achieving something in life. However, peace of mind is being at peace with our mind in the present. Because the more we think more we complicate life – life is, simple!

In another blog Arrived… where? though peace of mind was not straightforward point of discussion, but something related was discussed. My brother in law asked me a very simple question – ‘what is home?’ ‘what is school?’ How do you define home/school etc” In that same discussion the conclusion was – home relates more to a feeling – comfort, peace.

In one more blog Dichotomy on happiness the question I ask was – happiness requires fulfillment of the CONDITIONS we create for being happy or it is a feeling irrespective of what happens in our life/to us? These conditions, to me, are never ending… as it happens to the squirrel in Ice Age-Trilogy and to Chaipau in Salaam Bombay“. Dichotomy of happiness is you decide on what you enjoy doing or you remain happy irrespective of the situation you are in….

In all these thoughts, the real peace of mind was understood when I first saw Dadaji (Dada Gavande), here is a tribute blog to Dadaji. “When I saw him for the first time, and later as well, I was completely awe stuck, everything, thought and feeling vanished. So much of serenity was flowing off his face that I had nothing to talk or ask.” If you want to experience such peace of mind, you either have to meet an enlightened master or be enlightened yourself.

There were about 10 or more blogs in which peace of mind was touched upon. For more of my thoughts on peace of mind, read What are you searching for? where really the question is to you. In another blog Is religion another organized crime? the point is have religion lost their meaning? In the blog Money what is it? I tried to create another fictitious currency. In another blog Fish will fly in its next birth how my sister tried pacifying her daughter whose fish had just died.

You can read all the blogs searched with “Peace of Mind” as searched term here

This topic for LBC was suggested by Ramana uncleji. You can read other blogs of other Loose Bloggers Consortium members at Ramana Uncleji, Shackman and Lin.