Thursday, September 27, 2012

Sailing away

I have begun reading this book called "The Zurich Axioms", seems to be a wonderful read about living a life, speculating and being un-Indian.
Recently, I completed reading this book called Civilization by Niall Ferguson and I thought to myself, "Why, when Europeans and Chinese kept over-reaching and doing extraordinary stuff with innovation and the like, did Indians not do anything worthwhile on the global scene?" We never sailed far away, we never craved to conquer other countries, our economic might through our spices and agriculture was only for the East India Company's benefit.

In India, one community does stand out for its chutzpah and that is the Patels of Gujarat. They have always been the ones up for an adventure and that is why they are found all over the world.

Going back to history and to the Zurich Axioms, the book says that Switzerland succeeded because of its knack for adventure and speculation - I don't know if that is true but it is truly an interesting way to live a life.
When I think of Indians, I think of the following words:


Indian culture has been predominantly influenced by Hinduism and not by Islam, may be because Islam is a relatively new religion in India, and Indian Muslims are Indians at heart (or so I want to believe). I am not against any religion!!! I am against idiots ;)

Going on, Hinduism - if one looks at the Gita - stresses on doing what should be done. There is no urgency in any of our historical texts/ myths. The concept of meditation stresses on attaining peace. Only society allows an individual to be safe from external aggressive forces. Hinduism also stresses on striving to escape the cycles of birth and re-birth. The concept of Karma has been misconstrued to doing 'good' and avoiding doing 'bad'.
All of this meant that there was no need to do anything new and independent. It also meant that it makes sense to live life with the primary motive of attaining peace.

All of this still influences the India of the 21st century.
We care too much for what the society thinks of us, and how much money we have for later in life and how producing little human beings is imperative for continuation of 'the family name'.
Of course, by now we dont care about how dirty we make our community, because we only care about our own houses - but this is a topic that it quite futile to cover.

Ah, India. We are complex, no? Yes, no?

Monday, September 24, 2012


Yesterday, I was speaking with my Mom about how my generation is so different (on the topic of marriage and relationships); there was a time when people adjusted and compromised.
My mother's take was that it was out of respect for the elders and for the society. I refuted that claim; I said that it was more because there was no individualism, there were no choices. If your father told you to travel 20 kms to do something, you couldn't say, "Hey, I have this and this to do... please send somebody else for this menial task."

This lack of choices influenced a person's behaviour when married. Divorce was a no-no. Fighting was a no-no. Pizza was not allowed. There was no TV. There were no eligible hotties to tempt one.

My mother said then that today's people don't like to compromise. And I agreed. My mother said that it is important to compromise. And I agreed. And I framed a hypothetical situation:

Your (My mother's) daughter is 25 years old and gets married to a 25 year old guy. What should she do if, at the age of 30 the guy meets with an accident, becomes impotent and loses both his hands?
Another question in my mind is: What if, at the age of 30 she finds out that he is cheating on her? Regularly.

The answer, I believe, would be vastly different between:
the 1970s and the 2010s
one's own child and another's child
one's own plight and another's plight
a guy and a girl
a young married person and an old married person

Bharat believes in compromises. For the benefit of the whole. For the peace that goes with one's reputation and standing in society.
India believes in opportunities. India wants to do new things and doesn't want to adjust.
Life is now about taking chances and standing up for oneself, even though it may be at the cost of societal standing or parental disapproval.

Do read this story from Satangel's Review. It influenced this post.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Fortune 500 in 2030

I like Doghouse because they/ he tend(s) to make unconventional and slightly outrageous, although at times, inane comics.
But this one takes the cake!! (for this week at least) - had to repost it.

Haaaa!!! And I love the revenue and profit numbers
And the fact that Berkshire and Exxon Mobil are gonna stay there!