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Monday, April 25, 2011

It's a Love-Hate Relationship

love  (lv)n. A deep, tender, ineffable feeling of affection and solicitude toward a person, such as that arising from kinship, recognition of attractive qualities, or a sense of underlying oneness.

hate  (ht) v. To feel hostility or animosity toward.

Come to think of it. Is there any individual who can only hate? I don't believe it is possible. For according to Newton, Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.

For a person to hate something or someone there has to be the same amount of love and affection to a person or concept that is quiet the opposite. Is there a way for the world to better channelize the LOVE part of the emotion and make it a better place for everyone? Our lives are too short to accommodate hatred to everyone and everything.

Think about it - if at all you want to hate something, hate global warming, hate the situations that lead to poverty and starving, hate the trends that led to a skewed sex ratio, hate the have not's who hate the have's and don't do anything to change their situation. This will lead to a lot of love for the better!!!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Worship on Wheels???

I was headed to work today and though not the best thing to do, was on a call. Of course there is hands free that reduces the guilt a bit. A van zipped past and I noticed something written on the side of the van. One moment I was taken aback. Did it say - Worship on Wheels? Looked at it again and it actually said - Workshop on Wheels.

What was I thinking?

This also set me thinking. There are workshops, libraries, hospitals and hotels on wheels. Why not Worship? Isn't it high time that Gods got mobile as well and became available where people need them. This could be across religions, wow a secular thought. Look at how politicians could make us of the platform.

Thinking deeper, can spirituality or worship be converted into a business model. One might argue that it already is and that's what most religious organizations do. There are trusts, people who can afford to make donations, the funds are used to build temples and other facilities, more money flows in, this time from lesser affluent masses, money gets spent back to the society in some form or other, people who control this money get greedy and corrupt, allegations and counter allegations follow ---- but interestingly the BELIEF continues.

Come to think of it. Build out a good business plan on how a company around spirituality as a product will be developed. Register the company as a tax paying entity, get some VCs to fund the initial investment, wait it out for a few years, build a chain of places of worship or better still franchise them out, make money, pay taxes and have a transparent way of all things that matter in the company like any other corporate entity does.

If there is an "angel" out there, you know who to speak to for the Newco idea! ;) 

Monday, April 11, 2011

Innocence Lost

On a lazy Sunday morning, at the in-laws place getting ready for an engagement function, chanced to watch the show on India on Discovery Channel. As usual, my mind meandered into the memories of the past and I remembered two people from the past who influenced me at various junctures in my career, both professionally and personally. The show was about how the holy Ganges was getting polluted and the belief Indians had about Her power to cleanse all sins. The two people who came to mind were both doctors; Dr Malini S and Dr Jayachandran Thampi.

Year 2000, I had gone to New Delhi with a few friends to attend the Short Service Commission exams for selection into the armed forces as a doctor. We extended the stay there and headed out to Rishikesh and Haridwar for some sightseeing. The first time I was on the banks of the Holy Ganges, there was a sense of positive energy that engulfed me. I could feel the positive thoughts and energy that were associated with the place for thousands of years. I stood there in reverence of the Holy River that had the magical power to cleanse all sins that a person would have committed. The only other places where I felt this level of positive energy and belief was at the Raj Ghat, the resting place of the Mahatma and in the sanctum of the Tirupathi Tirumala Balaji temple. I took off my clothes and took a dip, feeling a flow of energy through my body and actually came out of the water feeling light and actually devoid of all sins.

Year 2002, I was working for a holistic medicine setup where I met Thampi. He would always call me his younger brother and impart on me knowledge on the best way to put you forward as a doctor. One late evening when he was really drunk, he let out the reason why he liked me so much. He told me that though I was 25 something, the fact that I had a childlike innocence about me was what made him like me. He told me that come what may, I should retain this innocence as that is what keeps me generally happy and free of all tensions in life. That is what, according to him, gave me my biggest asset a person could have; the ability to laugh at myself and not feel bad about committing mistakes.  

Year 2005, I was employed with a KPO that managed scientific content and events for pharmaceutical companies. Informally, Dr Malini had taken me as her mentee and trained me well in relating business needs with medical domain possibilities. We were on a client visit and scientific workshop in New Delhi and got the day off. We headed out to Haridwar again and there I was standing at the banks of the Holy River again. A priest walked by and offered to help us offer Pooja to our ancestors. I stood there watching him do the rituals and at the end he took water out of the river and asked to drink it. For one moment as the water touched my hands, I somehow couldn't convince myself to drink it. Memories of 2000 flashed before me where I had so willingly taken a dip in the river. But now, there I was seeing how muddy the water was and wondering the amount of bacteria I would consume if I drank the water.

On the way back to the New Delhi, I remembered what Thampi had told me. In the span of 5 years from my last visit to the Ganges, I got married, came across some forgettable relatives, fought hard to please all, changed the way I applied my medical knowledge from serving patients to serving corporate, been through the pain of not having lived with my parents for the first time in my life, expecting our first child, highs and lows of life after a student’s phase, and a host of other memorable and forgettable things.

April 10, 2011: Watching the show on the Holy Ganges on Discovery Channel. Eleven years since I first stood at the banks of the Holy Ganges, I could take some heart based on the fact that I was indeed turning out to be a professional success owing in a big way to people who contributed to my growth right from Dr Malini and a lot of my mentors in various organizations and my family (Deepa and my parents). However, where was I as a person? Had I in the process of growing professionally missed out on the person front? Was I still the same person who Thampi admired for my childlike innocence? I want to say yes, I hope it’s a yes, but deep inside unfortunately I know what the truth is, the answer is a big NO.