06 June 2009

10 ways to make the best of your life!

These days when the concept of continuing with one relationship - leading a one solid foundation of a family - is slowly losing ground, it's very rare (and perhaps outdated) to hear the very words and suggestions that make such ONE-RELATIONSHIP possible! But thanks to social media, we still have some people actively promoting and "conserving" such ideas to the best of their abilities.

One such person is my LI friend, Andy Cawston - the CEO and Chairman of International Alliance of Guardian Angels NZ Charitable Trust, New Zealand. Recently Andy celebrated his Anniversary, and I thought of congratulating him on his long successful married life, and asked him the secret of this success.

Here's his 10 points, reproduced word-to-word, for the benefit of all of you:
  1. Stay celibate until you meet the "right girl". This avoids the risk of bringing children into the world with a girl you do not intend to marry, for Abortion is an abomination and out of the question.
  2. It is better to never meet the "right girl" than to marry the "wrong girl". Divorce is costly and gut-wrenching, to be avoided. Be very selective.
  3. When she is ready, the right girl will find you, when you least expect it. When she does, get a ring onto her finger pronto.
  4. Commit to marriage as a "one-shot deal", no second chances. Divorce is out of the question. It is imperative to make the marriage work no matter what.
  5. Never, ever cheat. Don't even entertain the possibility. If you have done 1 thru 4 properly, this step should be really easy to follow. Other women will try to seduce you: dismiss them curtly and do not tolerate their advances.
  6. Every day and in every way remind yourself how lucky you are and be thankful for the wonderful person who is your wife, show your gratitude to her at every opportunity, and brag about her given the least excuse.
  7. On the odd occasion when you do not see eye to eye with her, never go to bed angry. Either sort it out, or stay up all night. Never, ever harm her.
  8. Be a generous, protective and loving husband. Your only duty for the rest of your life is to please her and keep her safe.
  9. When you marry a woman you also marry her family. Your life on this planet will be much, much easier if you can get along with your in-laws. It will be even better if they like you.
  10. Be a jealous husband. Let no man doubt that it is Death to lay so much as one finger on your wife. Be a really nice guy, but leave no illusions as to the certain fate of any man foolish enough to cross that boundary. If you sincerely mean it, they will believe you.
The suggestions, well... sound too old-fashioned in today's context. The Eastern conservative societies like India, China, many parts of Korea, Indonesia, etc. perhaps follow each and every suggestion written above! Perhaps that's why we see many of the South Indian families are so rich in heritage and divorce rates are generally low in these societies - esp. India.

However this is not going to hold for long, esp. since the "pedigree" is getting diluted fast due to invasion of easy information sharing, Cable TV, Facebook, Internet, and similar channels - which open up all possibilities of luring human frailties and weaknesses into something fast and quick (e.g. cut paste friendship; blind dating; short-term anonymous flicks; etc.).

The value-based sections / societies of Europe and Americas were not born with these ills - but have nevertheless been affected to a deeper level. And as such when these values get popularized and publicized by the ever penetrating media, we get all the ills that majority of developed societies are experiencing now.

It is because of these reasons I find the above suggestions extremely important to hold the "family" in the Western world, or in every society which is rolling towards adopting the "fringe-liabilities" that have come packaged with the western lifestyle.

You can contact Andy at andrew.i.cawston@cawston.net

19 April 2009

How to do business - Laloo style!!

In India, it's the election time, and no matter whatever the politicians say or promise these days, everthing is taken with a pinch of salt!

However, one politician stands apart in this political mumbo-jumbo! That's Laloo Prasad Yadav!

Over the years this one politician has created a personal brand for himself - for the good and the bad reasons - in his own way. The more the Indians wrote him off, the more popular he became! His Hindi one liners, spoken in his impeccable accent, was closely observed and followed by the host and actor Shekhar Suman, also from Laloo's very own Patna, in the highly popular TV show "Movers and Shakers"(see clip).

Similarly Laloo's style of self-trumpeting also took him out of the political clutter, and positioned him as one of the wittiest ones in recent times! He was once quoted as saying "I'm not a king! I'm a king-maker!"

Additionally, Laloo's own style of driving The Indian Railways into profitability in more than 40 years of the history of the public sector, has surely given him accolades from the business community and management schools as well! The turnaround of the Indian Railways is now being studied by the students of the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad. He was invited by Indian Institute of Management to talk about his strategy, which was mutually an enjoyable experience for both the parties! Further, he has received invitations from 8 Ivy League schools for lectures. He also addressed over a hundred students from Harvard, Wharton and others in Hindi.

I guess this facet of Laloo has inspired the business and marketing community to cook up witty jokes highlighting one business aspect each time. I came across one, which is reproduced here in it's totality (without editing):

Laloo talks with his son...

  • Laloo : I want you to marry a girl of my choice
  • Son : "I want to choose my own bride".
  • Laloo : "But the girl is Ambani's daughter."
  • Son : "Well, in that case..."

Laloo then approaches Mukesh Ambani...
  • Laloo : "I have a husband for your daughter."
  • Ambani : "But my daughter is too young to marry."
  • Laloo : "But this young man is a vice-president of the World Bank."
  • Ambani : "Ah, in that case..."

Finally Laloo goes to see the president of the World Bank...
  • Laloo : "I have a young man to be recommended as a vice-president."
  • President : "But I already have more vice-presidents than I need."
  • Laloo : "But this young man is Ambani's son -in-law"
  • President : "Ah in that case. . . . "

Well... won't you agree that this is how deals are done in the business world? I suspect, Laloo ran his empire exactly this way, and hence this joke is floating around!

08 April 2009

The Best Doctor I met...

These days, it's a common practice for the doctors to let teh patients have the bad news in the very early days of diagnosis, so that the patients have time and understanding to face the worst!

I'm not sure whether ethically this is a better practice, nor have any idea whether there's any better way to do the same. However, as a result of this practice, almost all the doctors these days have a general tendency to make you a hypochondriac... except for one of the rarest few, the story of whom was circulated to me.

Reproduced below is the conversation which took place between this doctor and the patient, and I don't claim any ownership of this, since i received this thru mail. It's so good to read the truth at last...

Q: I've heard that cardiovascular exercise can prolong life; is this true?
A: Your heart is only good for so many beats, and that's it... Don't waste them on exercise. Everything wears out eventually. Speeding up your heart will not make you live longer; that's like saying you can extend the life of your car by driving it faster. Want to live longer? Take a nap.

Q: Should I cut down on meat and eat more fruits and vegetables?
A: You must grasp logistical efficiencies. What does a cow eat? Hay and corn. And what are these? Vegetables. So a steak is nothing more than an efficient mechanism of delivering vegetables to your system. Need grain? Eat chicken. Beef is also a good source of field grass (green leafy vegetable). And a pork chop can give you 100% of your recommended daily allowance of vegetable products.

Q:Should I reduce my alcohol intake?
A: No, not at all. Wine is made from fruit. Brandy is distilled wine, that means they take the water out of the fruity bit so you get even more of the goodness that way. Beer is also made out of grain. Bottoms up!

Q:How can I calculate my body/fat ratio?
A: Well, if you have a body and you have fat, your ratio is one to one. If you have two bodies your ratio is two to one, etc.

Q:What are some of the advantages of participating in a regular exercise program?
A: Can't think of a single one, sorry. My philosophy is: No Pain...Good!

Q:Aren't fried foods bad for you?
A: YOU'RE NOT LISTENING!!! ...Foods are fried these days in vegetable oil. In fact, they're permeated in it. How could getting more vegetables be bad for you?

Q: Will sit-ups help prevent me from getting a little soft around the middle?
A: Definitely not! When you exercise a muscle, it gets bigger. You should only be doing sit-ups if you want a bigger stomach.

Q: Is chocolate bad for me?
A: Are you crazy? HELLO! Cocoa beans! Another vegetable!!! It's the best feel-good food around!

Q: Is swimming good for your figure?
A: If swimming is good for your figure, explain whales to me.

Q: Is getting in-shape important for my lifestyle?
A: Hey! 'Round' is a shape too!

'Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways - Chardonnay in one hand - chocolate in the other - body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming 'WOO HOO, What a Ride'

04 April 2009

WAQT NAHI (There's no time)

One of the good things Internet has done is that all of a sudden we find the world is too small, too vast and too accessible from the window of your PC screen. However it has also invariably meant that we are more prone to reading, copying, pasting and forwarding stuff from the 'world-wide-web' faster than even we could spell "faster"!!

The result? We find ourselves cornered to a situation where there's no time to create! Or for that matter, there's no time to perhaps create anything on our own - except enjoying something and sharing or "forwarding".

Recenlty however, it seems that mail-forwarding is slowly losing it's teeth perhaps, ever since Facebook became popular. But rarely you get some meaningful "creative" stuff on mails these days, which seem fresh and original (at least!) .

One of these days I received a Hindi/Urdu poem that reflected the above sentiment, in a very creative way. I thought I'd share this with the web community by reproducing below as is. I do not claim originality of these verses, nor do I claim authorship or ownership of the same. Here it goes...

Waqt Nahi

Har khushi Hai Logon Ke Daman Mein,
Par Ek Hansi Ke Liye Waqt Nahi.
Din Raat Daudti Duniya Mein,

Zindagi Ke Liye Hi Waqt Nahi.

Maa Ki Lori Ka Ehsaas To Hai,
Par Maa Ko Maa Kehne Ka Waqt Nahi.
Saare Rishton Ko To Hum Maar Chuke,
Ab Unhe Dafnane Ka Bhi Waqt Nahi.

Saare Naam Mobile Mein Hain,
Par Dosti Ke Liye Waqt Nahi.
Gairon Ki Kya Baat Karen,
Jab Apno Ke Liye Hi Waqt Nahi.

Aankhon Me Hai Neend Badee,
Par Sone Ka Waqt Nahi.
Dil Hai Gamon Se Bhara ,
Par Rone Ka Bhi Waqt Nahi.

Paison ki Daud Me Aise Daude,
Ki Thakne ka Bhi Waqt Nahi.
Paraye Ehsason Ki Kya Kadr Karein,
Jab Apne Sapno Ke Liye Hi Waqt Nahi.

Tu Hi Bata E Zindagi,
Iss Zindagi Ka Kya Hoga,
Ki Har Pal Marne Walon Ko,
Jeene Ke Liye Bhi Waqt Nahi........ .


03 April 2009


I just came a post on Russell Davies’ blog, which suggested 10 ways of being Interesting. Basically Russel’s suggestions are on 2 main assumptions:

The way to be interesting is to be interested – Using all your senses (esp. look and listen) to find what’s interesting… in everything.

Interesting people are good at sharing – Unless you share, you can’t let people play with the ideas you’re good at talking about.

His suggestions are quite interesting, and applying his assumptions, I guess that the very fact that I got interested in the post, makes me an “interesting” too! (So much for blowing my own horn!). My own feeling is that all these points somehow are well related to the “wired world” / media we’re increasingly finding ourselves in. Perhaps technology and it’s derivatives are somehow forcing us to “be interesting” and importantly “stay interesting” each day!

Nevertheless, here are his points in a nutshell (with my technology take on each):

1. Take at least one picture everyday –Your Camera phone makes you do so everyday! This is what we see everyone doing anyway, ever since these phones were introduced. Further, the phones also made it possible to share these pictures with others immediately. So full marks to Camera Phone! Point made!

2. Start a blog. Write at least one sentence every week – Mushrooming electronic media with its information overload was limiting users’ voice. Blogging empowered these users to express themselves, present their views and commentaries on other’s views. Hence technology helped again.

3. Keep a scrapbook – Today, no-one keeps a paper note-book anymore. Scores of online services empower one to maintain online scrapbooks – again with the intention of sharing with scores of other similar minded people. Shadow of technology here too!

4. Every week, read a magazine you've never read before – With time and speed being of utmost importance, many of us get to know about any article or coverage much before the magazine comes on the news-stands, Similarly, any off-beat subject is easy to access thanks to technology.

5. Once a month interview someone for 20 minutes, and then Podcast it – Advancements in technology makes you a multidimensional personality – so why not an interviewer too? The very knowledge that you’re going to post this on the net, makes the interviewee eager to help you. For tips on interviewing, you can always ask the www.

6. Collect something – Information collecting and that too thru the web, has replaced many traditional collection hobbies, eg. Stamps, coins, autographs, rare photographs, etc. More often than not, this info. may be of specialized nature too! A friend of me collects and shares info. on “ghost castles” and “supernatural” but true incidents, using Google and specialized searches.

7. Sit in a cafe for an hour/ week and listen to others. Take notes. Blog about it. (Carefully) – Sitting at the coffee shop with your laptop is in vogues these days – you can pretend working, yet are basically listening (sometimes with extra-sensitive microphones) to ideas and opinions of others.

8. Every month write 50 words about one piece (of visual art, writing, music, film/ TV or any other art-form) – Yes, you can use your camera, laptop, voice recorders, and voice writers to help you do that and Blog about each.

9. Make something – It may sound over-stretched, but I’ve known people fiddling with new programs, new software, even when they are not at all related to them! Some people even try to write a wiki on these experiences. Just to create something new! Somehow it seems that people find it easier to do something with technology – rather than anything else

10. Read – Russel’s top 3 suggestions are:

Most often than not, I’ve found different summaries, reviews, first chapters, extracts and quoted sections of many books which I want to read, but am never able to access immediately (because of unavailability in my region). Hence technology can help get to get you closer to most unlikely areas too!

Thus, we see that the shadow of technology is found everywhere, in helping you to become interesting… regardless of your current state of “interestingness”. But from your side, first you have to get interested!

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