Bania | Shameless Capitalist | Avid Reader | Interested in Politics | Always ready for an interesting conversation | I share my thoughts and experiences here | Wrong place for enlightenment or nirvana
Ask any coffee addict what he craves the most when he wakes up in the morning and you will get the reply “Du’uh coffee”! Caffeine is ostensibly the most widely consumed drug across the globe and billions swear by its efficacy. I wouldn’t be surprised if the addicts like me got together and proclaimed the beverage as the nectar on earth!
Alas, this nectar also has a wicked side to it. Every form of mythological nectar was a single-dose affair. Take it, gulp it down and wham! You are immortal! On the other hand, coffee is a passive-aggressive bitch. She wants to love you. She wants to make you fly. She wants to make you feel like the best freaking person in the world. But only if you stay committed to her. You need to remember her every few hours. You need to seek her out, be together and then she gives you that capacity to be fantastic for a few more hours.
What happens when you ignore her? Don’t see her for a few hours and she shows you how bad she can be. She gets into your head and screws it over in the worst possible manner. In a matter of minutes, you turn from Superman to the guy who saw him in the air and shouted: “It’s a bird!”. From a stud to a doofus in minutes. She won’t forgive you till you go crawling back to her and beg her give back those powers.
A similar bitch is life. Life gives you amazing experiences.Experiences that leave you in such awe that you want your life to end at that moment. You want some experiences to be your last ones so that they are not muddled by the ‘normal’ ones that follow. But life has its own way of screwing with you.
If all moments were amazing, would we appreciate the good ones? Who wants a life with a linear excitement curve? It is the rollercoaster we desire! We love excitement. We love those elevated heartbeats. We love that feeling of adrenaline and dopamine searing through our system and filling us with energy beyond measure. And we want those moments to continue. But, the reality of life is that they don’t. So what should we do?
If you made it till here, thanks for reading this. The next coffee is on me!
So, what’s your story?
It has been a sad July so far. The (alleged) takedown of MH17 by pro-russian militants of Croatia will go down as one of the most cruel and despicable acts of this decade - nearly 300 innocent people killed without warning. A single boom and the light was out. The photos of the wreckage and the description of bodies spread across 15 km (and loaded into chilling containers for transport) still sends a chill down my spine. The hype created by the media only adds to the sadness.
What happened with MH17 was a one off incident, there is another act of terrorism that is hogging the limelight in the last few days. Interestingly, there are few leaders who have the balls to call this an act of terrorism! While the world leaders wear a blindfold (and earplugs!) and act as if nothing is wrong, Israel has incessantly bombed the population of Gaza with no mercy.
(Note: If you are really interested in the background of this conflict, hit this link before you read on: http://goo.gl/mYcT)
The death-toll has cross 800 as I write this. More than a third of these are children. The number will be redundant when you read this. The scale of this massacre in the name of “anti-terrorism” is sickening. The Hamas has used the residents of Gaza as a human shield but this has not deterred Israel which is hellbent on proving its might in the region. Every evening hundreds of Israelis gather at the border to ‘patriotically’ see their country blast missiles into Gaza and turn living and walking people to lifeless chunks of flesh and bone.
Are palestinian lives not valuable? Does this really deter the Hamas who are safe in their bunkers? Should this go on till every person (Hamas or non-Hamas) in the conflict region is turned to food for grave-worms?
When I think about it, this isn’t very different from the wars fought by Hitler and Stalin or the cold war. And it is indeed a replica of the wars fought by America in Iran and Afghanistan on the pretext of finding weapons or a guy called Osama bin Laden (interesting fact: US was the only country against the UN resolution condemning the acts of Israel in the Gaza region). More people were killed fighting terror than terrorism itself! Israel was very strong in its choice of words when it condemned American sieges on these territories. Where has the morality vanished when the war is in their own backyard? Was it all talk and no substance? Ask this to Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu and I bet you will be rewarded with either silence or death.
Dear Israeli government, we all want peace. We all want commerce and we all want happiness. Sometimes, drastic steps have to be taken to ensure that. But, terrorism cannot be fought with terrorism. Please take your war to a place where innocent children, women and men don’t have to be thankful for every sunrise and sunset they see. Take the war to the boardroom instead of the border and sort your differences out. If you meet the Hamas halfway, they will go the distance to ensure peace. You just have to be more tolerant and willing to compromise. The world can definitely do with fewer dead bodies. As they say in my mother-tongue (Gujarati) - “ભગવાન તમને સદબુદ્ધિ આપે! - May god grant you the wisdom to know what is right and what is wrong.”
(1) http://www.democracyinlebanon.org/war/hezbollah-israel-war2006.htm (representational image)
"Acche din." - This was the plank on which the BJP and Narendra Modi laid the foundation of arguably the best election campaigns post independence. It was not a surprise when they won with overwhelming majority. But, every coin has two sides - with a clear majority, the government has no excuse not to take tough measures to revive the economy and give the needed adrenaline shot to business in India. The fiscal budget will be the acid test to determine whether the government has the balls to throw populist measures out of the window and do what is actually needed from a long term perspective.
10 basic expectations that I have from this budget:
In the world of drab places, a photocopy center would surely be one of the drab-est (oh Oxford! Just add this word!) places. But sometimes you end up meeting specimens that restore your faith that you can find humour anywhere on earth, even in a photocopy center!
I am this place to get a couple of documents scanned and as usual, the computers are down. I am told to wait for a few minutes to get my work done and I patiently wait (what else can one do!). A few minutes later, a lady with her (on first look) teenage daughter comes to the shop to get a few documents scanned. She is politely told to wait as the systems are down.
A few minutes pass. The systems are back on. The owner asks me for my documents and this is when hilarity ensues! The lady is visibly distraught and storms towards the owner who is blissfully unaware of the impending torpedo in human form.
She: (angrily) "Bandh karo kaam and mari vaat sambhado!" (Stop what you are doing and listen to me!)
He: (politely) "Bolo ben?" (Yes?)
She: “Tamne dekhatu nathi ke ahiya ladies bethi che? Aa bhai nu kaam pehla kevi rite kari shako? Ladies nu kaam pehla patavvani buddhi nathi chalti?” (Can’t you see that females are waiting for some work here? How dare you finish the work of a man before that of a woman? Don’t you have the common sense to finish the work of females first?)
He: (politely) "Tame emna pachi avya ne?" (You came to the shop after the guy right?)
She: (angrily) "E badhu tamari jode rakho!" (Keep that sh*t to yourself!)
And she storms off. The world surely is a funny place!
I came across this paragraph while reading the book - The Everything Store by Brad Stone
Quite interesting for a multitude of reasons. It is the point where the big debate of a core competency vs. a commodity activity is spawned and leads Amazon to the advantage it has in the industry at this point in time - supply chain. Another interesting angle is the mindset of a particular stakeholder - Wenger. As a person in charge of the process, if it is commoditized and outsourced, he would be out of an amazing job. Maturity is a gift given to few and in the subsequent pages (or years?) Wenger displays phenomenal maturity in leading the process improvement drives in Amazon.Read more
It was the night of happiness. Across latitudes and longitudes, across countries, across continents, across the barriers of race and religion, it was the center point in time when everyone forgot their differences and celebrated with equal fervor. It was New Year ’s Eve and the clock had just ushered in the new year.
His palms were sweaty when he picked up the phone. His heartbeats felt like the violent octaves of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring. This was a first for him. Self-assurance and confidence came natural to him and this nervousness felt new and alien. With shaky hands, he dialed a number. It was a call that would change his life.
He: “Happy new year kiddo. May the new year bring a lot of happiness in your life!”
She: “Happy new year to you too! I was expecting your call. How have you been?”
He: “I want to tell you something,”
He: “I love you.”
It was six months back, on a rainy evening when he saw her for the first time. He had known her for a long time. He always felt that he had known her longer than he knew. It was the virtual world that had connected them – the web of facebook, chat, whatsapp and phone had got him to know her deep inside.Read more