Skip to content

Month: March 2023

Beauty is only…

We all know that old adage about how beauty is only skin deep. I had a first hand experience recently.

After the surgery performed on a family relative, the hospital handed over a DVD to me, saying it contained the video of the operation. This was a first, for me at least. After hunting for a way to load up a DVD (who uses these anymore!?), I thought to see what it is that was recorded.

“Guts and glory”, they say. Guts there was, glory maybe only for the doc who succeeded in his work. And for the person being operated upon of course, that they made it out safe and sound. But the innards of a human being… that stuff does not look pretty!

The Creator in his infinite mercy has made our outsides look so cool compared to the slushy mushy almost yucky insides. But the outside, is far too temporary. White hair, bald spots, reduced energy, wrinkles, crows feet, saggy skin, warts and all – these escape no one, not royalty, not celebrities, not the most beautiful and handsome people in the world. And yet, we run after exactly these things. We must ask ourselves why.

Like it? Please share it!
Leave a Comment

Emotional take

Why do we get angry? Or sad? Or jealous?

These are all emotions of the mind, as we know them. And we think our minds are making us emotional.

But if we stop to think why this happens, we’ll realize it is largely because of a conflict that occurs between our hearts and our minds.

When you have to leave for an important meeting and your lunchbox packing has got delayed, it instantly results in an expression of anger. But the emotion comes not because we are angry by nature, but because a situation has presented itself whereby our reaction is one where temper levels have shot up. The heart is chilled out most of the time, but given that the mind has seen a potentially troublesome scenario, it has dragged the heart into behaving angrily.

Most important is the need to stop reacting. Reacting clouds the intellect and kills any discriminative ability. According to Swami Niranjananda of the Bihar School of Yoga, we must substitute reaction with involvement. Remain involved, be in a flow state, experience the unpleasantness of what is happening, but do not react. Won’t happen in a day, but worth working towards, for me at least!

Like it? Please share it!
Leave a Comment

Who are you?

Much of spirituality is about answering the question “Who am I?”

The Self, the Atman, the Soul, the Brahman, the Superconsciousness etc.

I got a whatsapp message last evening from my MD & CEO. The message asked me to do a task for him, urgently, because he could not speak at the time as he was on another call.

“Sure, of course”, I thought, and replied as such.

The next message asked me to buy 5000 gift cards and send it to his email.

Clearly I was in the early stages of getting scammed. Realized it in time luckily, phew. This wasn’t about “who am I” anymore, but “who are you”.

Like it? Please share it!
Leave a Comment


Why did we join the school we did?

Why did we join the college we did?

Why did we choose the subjects and majors we did?

Why did we choose the life partner we did?

Why did we choose the job we are in?

Why did we choose to have children?

All these Why’s are not to ask whether we chose right or wrong. There is no right or wrong. But the question is to know whether we thought about these things at all. Much of our lives are based on herd instinct. We do things because everyone else does them.

Surprisingly, in the only thing that truly matters in life, aka self-realization, the herd instinct doesn’t work, because there is no herd.

Like it? Please share it!
Leave a Comment

Tech-capable part 2 of 2

Transporting a computer to India in the 1960s was no easy feat. Apart from using a bullock cart, and also breaking a wall, the team had to get the machine through road blocks that collected customs taxes for road maintenance, for which the money had to come through additional AID grants.

The computer room wasn’t finished, and monsoon season had left an inch of water on the floor where the computer was to go. To add to the difficulties, the power in India ran at 50 cycles, while the computer needed 60 cycles.

Through numerous telegrams between IBM and Kanpur, they were eventually able to convert the power and adjust the voltage, and after three long weeks, the machine was up and running.

We today have the power of 1000s of those super computers, just in the palm of our hands. According to Barclays’ analysts, if human productivity was 100 units in 1765 (when the steam engine was invented), it increased to 1500 in the 1960s, and has doubled to over 3000 in just 5 decades thereafter. We are so productive but has that led to increase happiness as well? We should each introspect, and make peace with whatever we already have.

Like it? Please share it!
Leave a Comment

Tech-capable part 1 of 2

What are we without tech today? I couldn’t even be writing this blog. The word blog itself wouldn’t exist.

How far have we come? Ridiculously far, by all accounts.

Even a country like India – today known as an IT superpower – just a few decades ago was nowhere on the tech-map.

Even the premier Indian institutes of today, like the IITs, did not have computers. The story of IIT Kanpur getting it’s first (super)computer is thought provoking.

It was back in the 60s, or August 1963 to be precise. Transporting the IBM 1620 computer to IIT Kanpur was no easy feat. At that time, the bad roads of Kanpur made it difficult to transport such heavy and fragile electronic equipment. The team was worried that the vibrations from the truck could damage the electronic circuits, so they decided to transport it by bullock carts with inflated tires!

But the difficulties didn’t end there. When the computer arrived at the IIT Kanpur computer center, they found that the door was too small to take it in. The team had to break down a wall to install the computer!

Concluded tomorrow!

Like it? Please share it!
Leave a Comment

Lucky stuff

At times, I need to travel for work.

Different countries, different clients, different flights.

Some people say,” Wow, so lucky, you get to travel so much.”

“Country A, Country B, Country C…so much fun!”

My travels are never like that.

Only “Airport A to Hotel A; Airport B to Hotel B, Airport C to Hotel C, and multiple client meetings, and back to the respective airport for a rinse and refresh”. And no friends or family.

Who’s definition of fun is that? 🙂

Everyone has some good stuff, and some bad stuff, and we each need to make peace with our stuff, without worrying about others’ stuff!

Like it? Please share it!
Leave a Comment

So intuitive – part 2 of 2

In Vedic/Hindu spirituality, intuition is known as the directly perceiving faculty of the soul, and it is a powerful tool that allows us to know the truth about everything without relying on sensory experience or reason.

According to Paramhansa Yogananda, the highest form of intuition – true intuition – is developed through regular meditation and practice. Here’s some guidelines for how to do this:

Meditating regularly every morning and before going to bed at night. Sitting quietly and feeling a calm peace.

After meditating, sitting still for a long time, enjoying inner peace.

Meditating until the breath becomes calm. Then concentrating simultaneously at the point between the eyebrows and the heart, and asking God to direct our intuition so that we know what to do.

It is said, that when our intuition is fully developed, we will stand firm in our knowledge and convictions, no matter what challenges may arise. By developing our intuition through meditation, we can come closer to the divine and experience a deeper connection to the world around us.

Like it? Please share it!
Leave a Comment

So intuitive – part 1 of 2

Have you ever had a feeling about something that turned out to be true, even though you couldn’t explain why? That’s your intuition speaking! In Vedic/Hindu spirituality, intuition is known as the directly perceiving faculty of the soul, and it is a powerful tool that allows us to know the truth about everything without relying on sensory experience or reason.

According to Paramhansa Yogananda, there are three stages of intuition awakening:

Crude intuition: This is the initial stage of intuition awakening. It often appears as a calm, haunting feeling that occasionally turns out to be true. However, this type of intuition can be clouded by distorted reasoning and emotional feelings.

Semi-developed intuition: This type of intuition comes from frequent exercise and using pure reason and calm feeling. It is important because it allows us to distinguish true intuition from false impulses, leading to better decision-making.

True intuition: This is the highest form of intuition, which comes from the soul. It is developed through regular meditation and practice. When our intuition is fully developed, we will stand firm in our knowledge and convictions, no matter what challenges may arise.

That’s the definition anyway. No personal experience to opine on, but concluded tomorrow!

Like it? Please share it!
Leave a Comment

Doing the right thing

Everyone wants to do the right thing. But nobody knows what’s right. Because everyone’s definition of right is different. At least in life.

But what if ‘right’ is pre-defined. Would it help in doing the right thing? It should, in theory, right (pun unintended)?

Let’s take investing as an example. How does one make money from investing? Simple, buy low, sell high. Couldn’t be an easier formula.

But then why isn’t everyone around us rich?

Because while the formula is ‘right’, we aren’t. When the price is 10, isn’t that nice and low? It’s low, but what if it goes to 9 or 8 tomorrow? Or 5? Wow, wouldn’t I like to invest 50% cheaper? And so the buy never happens. Similar story for the “sell high”, as our minds conjure up utopian futures that seem all too obvious to get.

So, is it easy to do the right thing, even if it’s pre-defined?

Like it? Please share it!
Leave a Comment


There are auspicious times for everything in Hinduism.

Every God or Deity has a specific time or day of the week to get the best results.

There are auspicious foods as well. Modak for Ganesha for instance.

Specific clothes. Like black for Shani.

Specific food fasts to appease specific Gods.

It might appear that this is all for these Gods. Because God likes it this way, and this way only.

But this couldn’t be further from the truth. God doesn’t care about when and where we offer something to Him. He only cares about whether we are connected to Him, preferably always. By extension, all times then automatically become auspicious.

Like it? Please share it!
Leave a Comment

Multi trillionaires

As of today, there’s no world’s rich person’s list that has a trillionaire in it. But revisit this blog post in a few decades, and surely someone will feature.

For me personally? I think a milion dollars is more than enough.

But those with a million? They want a few million.

Those who are multi millionaires? They want a billion.

The billionaires? They want to be multi-billionaires.

And the multi-billionaires? They want to get into the world’s richest list.

And those on this list already? They want to get to the top of the list.

And those on top of the list? They want to ensure they remain there on top.

How much money you reckon is enough?

Like it? Please share it!
Leave a Comment

All good

When things don’t go well, we want and expect it to get over asap.

But when everything is going great guns in life, we feel we are entitled to our success, and in denial of its temporary nature.

If something goes badly, we may say it’s not our fault.

But would we attribute our success also to something outside our control?

If the source of failure can be outsourced, then why not the same treatment for success?

Both success and failure are nothing but meaningless labels in the cyclicality that is life.

The only thing we control is our own reaction to these external eventualities. If we choose to give up control of that also, then only peace remains.

Like it? Please share it!
Leave a Comment

100% successful

Yes, you know who that is? Who’s 100% successful?

Why, it’s you of course!

If you’re reading this, it means that you have succeeded against all odds, all failures, all problems, and have still made it to today.

You are 100% successful at not having been defeated by your worst days.

Isn’t that such an optimistic thought?

What can you not achieve in the future, with such an untouchable inimitable success rate behind you?

Like it? Please share it!
Leave a Comment

Slow coach

It’s absolutely irritating when you want to get to some place quickly, but there’s a guy on the road driving incredibly slowly in front. The pace of traffic on the sides is such that you don’t get even a chance to swerve onto another lane and zoom past the slowpoke.

While I’d wonder why people would go so slow ever, I got a taste of my own medicine recently, and boy was it an eye opener!

A relative had just had a surgery done, and it was my duty to drive said person back from the hospital to the home. Roads where I live are bad, to put it mildly, and so I was asked to drive not more than 20 kilometers per hour at best.

Any rough bumps meant my relative who had just got a number of stitches post-surgery would feel insufferable pain. It was my turn to be the slow coach on the road, as angry drivers-by honked their anger to me, no matter whether my hazard light was on or not. Oh what a lovely lesson in empathy it was for me!

Like it? Please share it!
Leave a Comment

Tech seers

Technology is just wonderful. It’s made us solve problems that we previously couldn’t even fathom overcoming.

So tech is cool this way.

But some tech is also scary. It’s making us closer and closer to goldfish. No, not the color of the iPhone case, but our attention span.

Apparently our attention span is now lesser than that of a goldfish, some 8 seconds or less. If you’ve read this far, then congratulations, you do not belong in an aquarium!

But as if phones aren’t distracting enough, people now look to their smartwatches first! Mid-conversation yesterday, a friend looked at his watch, realized he got a message, so then took out his phone to read it in full.

It’s not like I was hurt, because he didn’t interrupt me while I was speaking… He interrupted himself because he was the one who was talking in the first place!

Apparently Google Glass was going to be a cool thing, where’d you’d get all notifications and inputs in your glasses itself. And then they decided to shelve the project. Good they did that perhaps. We may then go from attention span of a goldfish, to what? An amoeba?

Like it? Please share it!
Leave a Comment

Clarity of thought

Does the ability to think clearly come with more knowledge and learning?

It might certainly seem logical. The more we know, the better information we will have for making decisions.

But apparently it’s not so easy. Learning and knowledge often brings ego, which can act as a barrier to clear thinking.

What is important is objectivity. The example of a baby in the arms of an old wrinkly skinned man is a case in point. The baby snuggles with the man no matter the color or quality of his skin, or his age, or his smell or anything else for that matter. All it cares about, is the love the man showers onto the baby, and the baby simply reciprocates. Zero prejudice.

Our past experiences and prejudices often color our thinking. So instead of responding to the reality of a situation, we end up responding to the prejudices and preconceptions instead.

Like it? Please share it!
Leave a Comment

What’s bad is good for…

…none other than beloved Lord Shiva.

Shiva, as mentioned by Sadhguru of Isha Foundation in many of his talks, means “that which is not”.

We are always running after “that which is”…money, fame, relationships… But Shiva doesn’t need any of these.

He happily accepts the ashes from burnt dead bodies. How many of us can?

Everybody loves the full moon in all its beauty, but Shiva has the crooked crescent on his matted hair.

Few like slimy, creepy, crawly snakes, but Shiva adores them. Swami Chinmayananda once likened the snake to the ego – it is full of poison, from it emerges hatred, jealousy, fear and anxiety. It is always frightened and ever ready to attack. But Lord Shiva? Oh, he’s tamed the ego, and wrapped it around his neck!

And if he opens his third eye, all ego is decimated.

Like it? Please share it!
Leave a Comment

Guru’s grace

There are millions of people who are God fearing.

Many many more who are God loving.

So many of them are immersed in singing His glories.

Whether through bhajans or temple visits.

Ananya bhakti is supreme, without a doubt.

But my Guru says that having true Knowledge from the scriptures is paramount.

Otherwise we will simply be looking to God to fulfil more and more of our desires within this Maya clad world.

There will be no opportunity to break out of it. Hence scriptures, satsang and Guru, are irreplaceable and mandatory.

Like it? Please share it!
Leave a Comment

Believe the height? Or hype?

What do you think the ideal height of a basketballer should be? What about the height of a pro basketballer? And what of one who plays for the world famous all star Harlem Globetrotters? 7 feet? Or 6 and a half feet? Or at least 6 feet right?

Maybe you’ve never heard of Mani Love then. His height? Wait for it…

4 feet, 5 inches.

Think I’m kidding? Please watch a few YouTube videos of his. Like maybe this one.

It’s insane what he can do. Some of his moves, no 7-footer can ever pull off.

But if we were limited to 4 feet 5, would we have the belief in ourselves to achieve what he has?

What other self-imposed limitations are impeding us today?

Like it? Please share it!
Leave a Comment

Calm waters

Ever seen some of those insane NatGeo or similar deep-ocean documentaries? The dark blue waters and the total silence… it’s almost eerie.

But there’s actually a crazy amount of action going on there. So many fish and amphibians and crustaceans and other creatures are alive and buzzing.

And then imagine the torrential amounts of water that flows into the ocean, every day, every hour, every minute, every second. From rivers, from melting ice, from rain, and other sources too perhaps.

But through all this commotion, the deep ocean is always calm and placid. Exactly like how we would be, once we’ve attained that Blissful State. Once the Brahman has been experienced, none of the piddly matters of today will ever affect that deep calm ocean.

Like it? Please share it!
1 Comment

Happy painting

If you had to draw happiness, what would it look like?

A lot of money? Happy people everywhere? An island paradise with clear blue waters? Lounging by the beach? No more office or work, ever?

This is what it looks like according to an interesting forward I got from WA University (yes, you know which one!). Apparently this was drawn by Turkish artist Abidin Dino. He drew a picture of a whole family. All cramped up on a broken bed, under a leaky roof in a shabby room. Still with a smile on each member’s face!

I can’t see any money or tropical beaches here. Well worth pondering over, for me.

Like it? Please share it!
Leave a Comment


Much fanfare has been made and much more has been written about Yuval Harari’s book called Sapiens. This post isn’t about that book at all. I wish it could be, but I haven’t read it.

This post is simply about the word itself. Sapiens.

I’ve always read “homo-sapiens” in so many places and never thought about it much. What does it mean? Oh it means human beings. That’s what we learned in school, and that’s what I remember. End of story.

Until I accidentally highlighted the word on my Kindle last night. The Kindle has a nifty feature where a highlighted word is immediately and automatically defined using the in-built dictionary.

And it threw up the meaning of the word sapien. “Wise”, it said. Wow. Wise. We have named ourselves wise. We are wise, at times. But mostly we are angry, cranky, greedy, jealous, scared, anxious… the list is endless.

We should live up to our biological name better.

Like it? Please share it!
Leave a Comment

Wealth transfer

Family office advisors and wealth managers around the world are seeing an incredible boom in their businesses. Why? Because more and more rich and well to do families are setting up their inheritance and wealth transfer processes.

They want the transfer to be as smooth as possible, and rightly so. It is estimated that the boomer generation is currently transferring $68 trillion dollars of wealth to their spouses and children. What an incredibly large number. Insane almost.

But you know what happens when people who haven’t worked hard to earn money end up with ridiculously large sums of inheritance money? Surely you do.

Here’s a nice quote I came across:

“Parents are good at preparing the money for the person, they are often less good at preparing the person for the money.”

Jess McGawley
Like it? Please share it!
Leave a Comment

It’s a holi-holi-day!

Came across a super WhatsApp forward today – on Holi-day. The Indian festival of colors, and where a huge bonfire is lit.

Step out of home in the morning for a walk, and there’s a zero chance that you can come back without having some color splashed on your face, or clothes!

But what is all this color and the fire for?

The color put on one another helps us forget our differences. Once colored, everyone is the same.

The fire or bonfire, isn’t to burn material things, but rather to burn our ego and feelings of I, me, mine.

So profound, isn’t it?

Like it? Please share it!
Leave a Comment


Arguably the greatest and most famous scientist of all time is Albert Einstein. Many of the pseudo-intellectuals of today would look at him in awe and conclude that science trumps spirituality and that logic and intellect reign supreme.

But here are some words by Einstein himself, from his essay titled “What I believe”:

"To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their most primitive forms - this knowledge, this feeling, is at the centre of true religiousness. In this sense, and in this sense only I belong in the ranks of devoutly religious men."

Clearly, the man behind e=mc2 was onto something…

Like it? Please share it!
Leave a Comment


Everyone wants something. The world indeed does run on incentives only. In the very funny and niche TV series called Clarkson’s Farm, Jeremy Clarkson, the famous ex-host of Top Gear runs into some trouble with the local villagers.

As an aside, when they said “villagers” on the show, I thought of villages like those in India. But boy were those villages in the UK so modern and citylike. No skyscrapers, but everything looked so nice! Anyway, back to the point. Jeremy ran into trouble because the villagers didn’t like the fact that him farming and selling his produce and recording all this into a TV show was bringing too much traffic and noise to the otherwise quiet village.

So he decides to setup a meeting with the village community. Everyone brings up some issue or the other. Jeremy patiently replies to each one, saying he will try his best. But the clincher? Someone asked for a VIP pass to his farm-to-fork restaurant, and a special discount for the villagers. Everyone chimed in. And when Jeremy said “yes of course”, everything was sorted out instantly – meeting over! It’s all about “what’s in it for me?” ????

Like it? Please share it!
Leave a Comment

Raising the bat

Raising the bat is common in cricket, when the batsman scores a 100 runs. A century.

The batters raise their bats if they score 200 or 300 as well, or even more.

But there was one occasion where a batter raised his bat after scoring just 1 run.

Yes, your read that right, one, not one hundred.


Because in his prior 6 innings, he had got out for a duck, i.e. a grand score of zero.

It would have been a problem only if this guy didn’t come out to bat the 7th time around. But he did. And he celebrated that 1 run with aplomb!

A great lesson for me in persistence, and in self-deprecating humor. ????

Like it? Please share it!
Leave a Comment


Most of us, maybe all of us, are perennial wanters.

Who is a wanter? Someone who wants, of course!

I don’t think a word like ‘wanter’ even exists in the dictionary, but that’s who we are!

We want more money, more pleasure, more vacations, more fame, more cars and houses, more travel, and so much more of this and that. Everything material, we want.

Lord Krishna in the Gita says though that there is only one thing worth wanting. And that is Self Realization. How many of us pray for this in our daily prayer wantlist?

Like it? Please share it!
Leave a Comment

Freuden Schaden – part 2 of 2

While schadenfreude we (now) know, it also has a happier cousin, called freudenfreud. What is this?

Enjoying someone else’s success or happiness is what is referred to as “freudenfreude” by social scientists. This term, derived from the German word for joy, refers to the happiness we experience when someone else achieves something, even if it has no direct impact on us. According to psychologists, freudenfreude acts like a social bonding agent, making relationships more enjoyable and intimate.

Some call this positive empathy, ie. the ability to feel and experience someone else’s positive emotions.

Studies have shown that experiencing freudenfreude can foster strong relationships and increase our sense of belonging. For example, researchers at the University of California, Berkeley found that people who experienced freudenfreude in response to their friends’ successes reported higher levels of life satisfaction and more meaningful relationships.

This is all no different from what the Gita or my Guru says. Just live for others, and dedicate our lives to helping those around us.

Like it? Please share it!
Leave a Comment

Freuden Schaden – part 1 of 2

Most people would have studied about Schadenfreude in school. The term refers to the happiness that people feel at the pain of someone else. One may think that it is a bad word, and that it has nothing to do with themselves. But the reality is, that every single action of ours in our lives involves schadenfreude in some form or manner. Really?

Like if we get a promotion at work. This comes at the expense of someone else’s promotion that same cycle, because it is not possible for the entire organization to get promoted at the same time. If we’ve got the promotion, we are happy, at someone else’s expense. Or even in simple things like taking a walk. How many insects have got crushed under our feet, just so we can enjoy the fresh air? Or when we let the tap run, how many others are deprived of water? The list can go on and on, but living thinking like this can be very defeatist and fatalistic. What to do then?

Concluded tomorrow…

Like it? Please share it!
Leave a Comment