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Monday, June 25, 2012

Bharat Premkatha

I have a copy of Bharat Prem Katha (ভারতপ্রেমকথা) by Subodh Ghosh that my grandpa gifted to my father on his 18th birthday in 1374 Bongabdo (Gregorian year 1967). Couple of years ago, I discovered the charm of a book that had been written years before I was born, about people who first appeared in the epic Mahabharat(মহাভারত). The stories are classic, yet contemporary; maybe because the characters are eternal. Read the book if you can - I have relished every word of it.

Here's an excerpt from the first story.

Porikhhit o Sushobhona (পরীক্ষিত ও সুশোভনা )

You might also like Chader Pahar chapter 1

Click on the label 'podcast' or 'mp3' for more audio clips and 'video' for videos.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Melancholy melodies

The sweetest songs are those who remind us of our saddest thoughts. Some of my favorites are:

1. Dil se tujhko bedili hai- Yahudi (1958)

2. Waqt ne kiya- Kaagaz Ke Phool (1959)

Click on the label 'podcast' or 'mp3' for more audio clips and 'video' for videos.

Friday, June 15, 2012

We need true leaders

'Rajat Gupta, a native of Kolkata, India, was orphaned as a teenager. After earning an engineering degree, he moved to the United States after receiving a scholarship to Harvard Business School. He then landed a job at McKinsey, the elite management-consulting firm. In 1994, at age of 45, Mr. Gupta was elected the global head of McKinsey, the first non-American-born executive to run the firm.'
-Excerpt from The New York Times

He was India's first poster boy at Wall Street. Now, he is convicted of Insider Trading. ( U.S. v. Gupta, 11-cr-00907, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan))

Why would a millionaire value money more than his reputation? Guess I'll never know.

But it should come as no surprise. In recent years, it has become quite the fad: business and political leaders are making headlines for all the wrong reasons. Even in well-respected financial firms [Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs] , you are taught to be ruthless and are judged only by your contribution to the bottom-line, relationship-building and integrity have allegedly taken a back seat. Business Ethics is a class you take in B-school for an easy A. Then toss back those books and ideas and focus on the race. Only the thrust to grow higher can take you places. No need to check if your roots are firm in the grounds- if you are compromising with or forgetting your fundamental values.

Gordon Gekko said 'Greed is good.' But greed can never be good. It clouds your judgment and makes you a coward. Greed makes you want to have things you might not be able to have if you are righteous. And even if no one else knows, you will know it in your heart, and you will loathe yourself for it.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Travelogue: A little adventure at San Francisco Botanical Garden

Last week, I was at the San Francisco Botanical Garden. Had a great time at the California Academy of Sciences, Rainforest Exhibit. The enclosure was temperature and humidity controlled, and it felt like I was walking through a tropical jungle.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Call a Northeastern 'Chinki', be jailed for 5 yrs in India

Ok, 'Chinki' is a racial slur. So is Bong, Gujju, Gulti etc, but it makes sense because NE women with mongoloid features are statistically more prone to certain crimes against them in mainland. I don't think it will make life any easier for them, but any step is good. I am cynical about the implementation though.

India is rushing towards a state of cacotopia in the guise of social equality. Political and industrial godfathers with the wrong motivation and reservation based on caste(instead of merit) are two major things that need to be corrected. What ppl choose to call each other is not a concern, if the feelings are the same. Maybe folks will learn to call 'chinky' under their breath now. Would be foolish to assume that they can erase that word from the vocabulary of the common man. It will take generations of conditioning to learn to respect differences. The MHA has done it to clear their conscience. Nothing more.

Monday, June 04, 2012

Yogurt Wars

Greek yogurt is now a billion-dollar industry in the US, and has experienced an accelerated market growth in recent years. Once a specialty item, it is now a staple in most supermarket aisles. Strained and hence creamier, Greek yogurt is a healthier alternative to ice-creams and other desserts. Also, it serves as a low fat alternative to sour cream and mayo as sandwich spread. I am addicted, and I guess so are many others.

What are the driving factors of its popularity?