Guest Blog by Raju Narisetti : Coming Home

I don’t really know this 60-year-old very well any more. I wasn’t alive for her first 20 or so years. And I haven’t been around for her last 20 or so years. So, when I am asked—quite frequently—how it feels to be back home, I have to pause and search for words that say what I mean and mean what I want to say. What I often end up saying is that it is ‘work-in-progress’ because, in many ways, it is as much about me as it is perhaps about India, which was definitely home once and ought to be home again.
The trouble is that intellectually, I can grasp that the time I have been away has perhaps been the most dramatic one-third of the maturing of this 60-year-old nation. And I am not just talking about the blossoming of entrepreneurial energy, the wholesale embracing of the pursuit of wealth and material happiness that dominates urban India, or the well-chronicled infrastructure woes and the real estate boom. I am also talking about that magical shift in India’s psyche, where large sections of population have moved, lockstep, into a “we can do it too” mode, much like what was visible in China in the late 1990s. Full-blown envy, of most things West, appears to have been replaced mostly by an active curiosity, and a belief that while we may be slower or different, we will now do it our way. And, guess what, here is the money to back up that thought.
But, it is my heart that makes it harder to accept this new 60-year-old ….

Read the rest of this entry »

Being active, not reactive. The power of silence

How many years does one spend being reactive to the constant noise of external stimuli and mistaking that for hard work and activity. And then looking back and wondering why what was achieved was either not enough or not satisfying enough ? The mind becomes a whirlwind of thoughts, ideas, doubts and contrary messages. The ego becomes an instrument of the search for affirmation in other people’s eyes. Not even a clear idea of what other people think of you, but just what your mind imagines they think of you ! We mistakenly start to think that we are responsive and responsible to the world – but actually we are just responsive to the whirlwind of what sometimes becomes our greatest enemy. Our own mind. So how do you discover ACTIVITY rather than Reactivity ?
Silence. …..

Read the rest of this entry »

Cricket 20/20 : Going for the kill, not skill. Lets get back bodyline bowling !

Abi said :We watch EPL, we watch Spanish League, we watch FI races, where is it written that people should always uphold their national identities on the sports field? Why do we expect the fans always carry their national flags? Why do we expect them to be just Indian players, when they can be great cricketers without color or creed?
Abhi, I have no problem with Pakistani players playing in India and I love the idea that the whole Eden garden erupts when Shoaib Akhtar scares some of the great Indian batsmen into submission. Even if he is on drugs, it is great to watch him exult like a panther hunting down his victims. I think it is great that a retired Auusie player is proving a better captain to lead new young Indian players than Tendulkar, Dhoni and Ganguly put together. I think it is great that we get to see Jayasurya hitting sixes all over the ground one after the other. I think that Sharukh Khan and Ganguly would have still been winning and be friends if they did not let their best batsmen from ‘down under’ go play for their own country. I think they should double their salary to keep them here, for who wants to go and play for a national team with the old rules any more ? Boring, boring.

Read the rest of this entry »

Are speculators deliberately bringing the global economy to the brink ?

The last time this happened was during the Asian Currency crisis, when all the then so called ‘Tiger Economies’ were destroyed by speculation in their currencies. Who were these speculators ? George Sorros was definitely one of them. Who are these people that in the name of return on investment actively go out to destroy the livelihoods of millions of people ? With the rise in food prices all over the world leading to food riots, and now the sudden rise in oil prices that will completely hamper food distribution, the world is heading to the brink of economic turmoil. Both the rise in food and oil prices have not been caused by sudden shortages. They have been caused by immense speculation and trading in commodity futures. Remember that trading in commodity futures, rather than easing price fluctuations as economic theory teaches you, actually creates artificially high prices.

Read the rest of this entry »

Amitabh Bachchan and Amir Khan Blogs.

It is wonderful to see blogging come of age in India. I have always believed that blogs are the new way that people will express themselves, and bloggers will create communities that will become more powerful and more connected than newspapers and tv channels. Soon we will have blogtv – where the combined reach of the individual communities will far exceed those of the current (rather poor) tv channels. And because blogging is an interactive and democratic process through which no one person is allowed to become so powerful that he/she becomes the ‘gatekeeper’ of public opinion and even news, bloggers carry the responsibility to nourish and nurture this new medium. For like freedom, it is by the people, of the people and for the people. And so, while I love that both Amir and Amitabh are attracting so much attention from bloggers, I sincerely hope that ultimately their blogs will mature into creating communities that will become focal points for community discussions. For a Blog to be sustainable, it must go beyond being about an individual personality. Both Amir and Amitabh have the ‘pull power’ to create large blogging communities. I sincerely hope they do.

Identity crisis anyone ?

Language does limit comprehension sometimes. And the more we communicate, the more we rely on ‘key words’ as a means of speedier communication. And so the more we tend to define and therefore confine things into narrower and narrower meanings. So what do we mean by identity crisis ? Have I ever been without one in my whole life ? I am still unable to define myself, and am still trying to understand who I am, and why I am. I guess I take that as a positive – as long as I am searching for my identity, as long as I am yearning for something that I can identify myself as, so long will I keep searching for that part of me that exists eternally. And has always existed. Wonderful how I am able to escape the psychological definition and escape into the mythic one !

Read the rest of this entry »

Should the Dalai Lama go to the Beijing Olympics?

Yesterday the Times of India asked me to comment on the possibility of the Dalai Lama going to the Beijing Olympics and of course, journalism being what it is in India, outrageously misquoted me. I said that the Dalai Lama should go to the Olympic, because if he did, the people of China would embrace His presence and that could start a non confrontational political dialog that could give some kind of autonomy to Tibet. Of course the Times of India misquoted me as saying that his presence at the Olympics would ’embarrass’ the people of China into provoking a dialog. A little bit of difference between embarrass and embrace, wouldn’t you say ?

Read the rest of this entry »

Can we change our Destiny ?

Respected Sir : am parineeta sharma from jodhpur.Now I have to ask a question to you that I have waited about 24 years my success.But still unable to achieve it. What is reason? Pl. tell me what is wrong with my fortune?
Parineeta, I am not a jyotish, nor do I have the power to tell anyones future. But I believe that your future is changeable, and your destiny is just a potential at any given time. A potential that exists under the influences of your own Karma and the rest of the Karmic influences upon you in a huge inter-related matrix that is immemorial in time.

Read the rest of this entry »

Politicians squabble, strut, do photo ops over the bodies of dead children

So even as families are searching for their loved ones in Jaipur. Even as the nation is in a state of shock (if they can get their minds off cricket), and the grief of mothers that lost their children is not over, the Politicians have stepped in. The Rajasthan Chief Minister is claiming that the intelligence reports were deliberately vague, like ‘weather reports she said’ and advised Sonia Gandhi not to try and come to the state to do photo ops for political mileage. But of course the top brass of the BJP was there, doing immense amount of photo ops for their own political benefit. I hope and pray that the people pf this country see these political acts for what they really are. Our politicians often turn into parasites on the miseries and grief of their own people.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Indian people deserve better

No wonder Indians do so well when they move overseas. Look at the odds they have to overcome just to survive in their own nation. If they are not constantly fighting bureaucracy, corruption, lack of basic health, education, the state is unable to even protect their lives against acts of terrorism. Isn’t it time that the people forced the politician to overcome their obsession with their own power, greed and criminal irresponsibility ? Is it not time for the people to hold the politicians accountable ? The state is as responsible for these acts of terrorism as the terrorists themselves.