Ramayana - The Game of Life by Shubha Vilas

Sunday, February 22, 2015

It has always been my wish to read the greatest ancient epic history, particularly Ramyana and Bhagawat Gita. Ramayana which is said to have happened in Tretha yuga about million years ago and Bhagawat gita in Dwapara Yuga about 5000 years ago. I believe reading them completely requires patience, dedication and a passion. In this Kaliyuga, we are driven and pulled across by so many forces towards survival of fittest and more particularly to satisfy materialistic needs. This being the case, one may find it difficult to read and accept this epic facts and happenings.

By chance, I had a opportunity to read a part of Ramayana written by Shubha Vilas called “The Game of Life”. This book covers just a small portion of Ramayana, the author’s narration and particularly notes at the bottom of each page make reading interesting. Even though this part 2 book covers a portion of Ramayana, I understood some of the interesting facts behind Ramayana. Like, ancestor of Ravana, relationship between Ravana and Kubera and the ease with which Rama is able to handle the happening around him.

These writing teaches us to be humble and content, but then modern day happening are very different, with so many attraction and distractions, one can get easily lost in pursuit of acquiring material comfort.

Sometimes, there can be questions that these are stories and has it really happened? That too million of years ago. I believe, this is where internet places a crucial role, not just one evidence, if one does a research in internet they are sure to get evidences of Ramayana at multiple location not just in India, but even out-side India.

In Electronics, there is a moore’s law which states the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit doubles every two years, I feel we can extend the concept to our modern day living. The number of appliances or gadgets in modern day house hold needs triples every decade. For example, about a decade back owning house, car, mobile phone, laptop, Washing machine, micro oven, TVs etc was an ultra luxury for people in age group of 20s or 30s. Not any more, all these appliances has become a need now and interestingly, as many of them has a shorter shelf life, new sophisticated model keep coming year after year and so is the pursuit to acquire more keeps growing. So naturally, when materialistic needs grow year by year without saying humility and being content could decrease.

Kaykeyi mind was corrupted by Manthara and she takes it granted about the expectation of Bharata. Unfortunately Bharatha expectation was different and as matter of fact, Kaykeyi lost so much due to this greed. One may have a goal or aim in life, that doesn’t mean if one achieves the goal it will always lead to success & happiness. Life is all about how one perceives the world is going to be, but the reality can be different.

Finally, even thought this book covers only a small part of Ramayana, the depth of coverage, the presentation and philosophical narration at the bottom makes the reading interesting. In all, a very good book to read and look forward for the author’s next release.

This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

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LPG - Subsidy direct transfer.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

If you have LPG connection from BP, IOC or HP then you are supposed to have Aadhaar and Bank account linked to your LPG connection to get difference in subsidy amount. It looks simple isn't it.
Once this scheme or process was announced few months back, my wife was after me to get this done. Due to lazyness and more importantly, the complexity in execution involved (well it's my thought), I kept postponing it thinking it could this scheme might be postponed.

It is said in Chennai alone there are about 60 lakhs customers who are suppose to receive subsidy money transferred to their bank account. This requires mammoth effort to have the data entered in the appropriate systems at multiple ends. At-least 4 or 5 parameters are critical: the gas agency with city, Aadhaar number, Gas number, Bank and Account Number. Hence, naturally any data entry error can pose a higher challenges or even wrong pay out to account. Further there are going to multiple human touch point or different agency, can create confusion, particularly if pay out does not happen to one's account it could just be difficult to find out as what went wrong. 

On top of this being a continuous execution, would require high costing resources to be in place to function without a hitch. Hence, to me, the combined cost of having this new system, including subsidy pay out might turn out higher then the current system. Though the intention of the government is good that subsidy needs to reach directly its citizen, but sheer volume and different systems in place might cause a nightmare in its implementation 

Now, did I register?.

Yes, first registered my Adhaar card with the online bank site and then linked my Aadhaar through https://rasf.uidai.gov.in/seeding/User/ResidentSplash.aspx. Though had registered about few weeks before but still awaiting confirmation.

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Happy New Year - 2015

Friday, January 2, 2015

Wishing you all a very happy & prosperous.

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Indian Youth

Saturday, September 6, 2014

The general life trend in an Indian youth's career has changed over the years, particularly graduates of engineering  colleges.  But, always there are exceptions.
1970's to 80:
  • Engineering degree was still a male bastion, with few exception.
  • Preferred jobs in Railways, Telephones, TNEB and public sectors like BHEL, BEL.
  • Once in job, book 'Bajaj' scooter which take 7 years to delivery. 
  • Save excess money towards taking delivery of ' Hamara Bajaj' Scooter and marriage.
  • Post Marriage save money for kids education.
  • 'Loan' for personal use from  Bank is unheard.
  • Close to retirement, plan to buy house from saving.

1980's to 90's.

  • Girls prefer Engineering too. Yes, both are equal, what's wrong. Engineering is no longer a male bastion.
  • Preferred jobs still in public sector and some in large private sectors.
  • If Parents not dependent, if one is good in studies look at going abroad for post graduation. No worries, if stipend not available ready to work in Petrol banks, stores.
  • Still 'Loan' for personal use be it home, consumer, education not available. 'Loan' from Public sector bank are only for Commerce & Industry.
  • 'Body shopping', 'H1 stamping' is widely discussed, if one has couple of years experience. 'H1 stamping' is treated as a life time achievement and probably, the eligibility for marriage.

2000's and beyond.

  • Layoff or recruitment freeze in Public sector.
  • Whatever be the field of engineering study, preferred jobs are  from so called 'Tier 1' IT services company.
  • Yes, campus recruitment and who is bothered about whats the job role. Experience matters.
  • Private banks enter Indian market, with door step services for all loan needs be it home, consumer, personal. Hold on, bank did not advertise door step services, if you want to make part payment later.
  • Word such as 'Body shopping', 'H1 stamping' looses charm. The word 'EMI' is widely known and available for whatever you want.... right  from baby birth till the end.  Yes, includes the recent addition of education loan too....
  • Once in job, buy a smart phone(size of laptop) for text ting and browsing wherever you are. Can't waste time. Ensure to change every six months to a year.
  • Few years in jobs, buy a house - more due to parents and peer pressure, preferably with metro city pin code and a car as well. Yes, otherwise real estate will go up every month - inputs from well-wishers and off-course purchase is through bank loan ranging  10 to 30 years.  Hmm... start working to feed the bank !!?!! ..............meant EMI.
  • Few more years on... with husband and wife both working, debate about who will take care of kids. No worries SOS parents to take turn to take care of kids.
  • 'Saving'.... where?.... money disappears to service EMI, life needs and off course the ever increasing inflation......
Already, you should have started hearing about 'Reverse Mortgage' option of house for senior citizen. 
Yes, Banks are innovative and would continue to offer door step services for all loans needs at whatever stage of life, if you are able to work or make your assets work for bank and you..... at any time or any where..

Yes.. its all 'virtual reality', I own everything but its not mine ......................... (Hypothecated to bank :-) ... ). 

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PM: The Indian way with Modi wave.!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

It had been quite some time since my last post on my blog. May be, run out of thoughts as what to post or nothing interesting happened to write on it. With General election results out, its time to express my personal views.

All exit polls predicted a win for BJP. But, non would have expected Congress getting less than 50 seats in final tally. Cong by getting less than 50 seats, cannot even have a leader of opposition on its own. This might be also a first time in 30 years there may not be a leader of opposition, as they ask is the party needs to be have won at least 10% of the total seats.

Gone are the days of one way communication from politicians to public through DD or news paper. The visual media and social media have become powerful and a small mistake any where can cost politicians dearly. Like a T 20 match, the margin for making errors have become very narrow. Public focus these days, are just not limited to politician, a political set up or those who are related to it cannot get away after making adverse comments like 'Mango people' or 'Banana Republic' or having undue protection from Government. 

Everyone acknowledges that change is happening, but changes seem to happen quite fast, even less than a year changes can happen. AAP, which made a dream start in Delhi assembly, seems to have lost focus. When Team Anna was agitating the agenda was on corruption and on the ruling government for allowing it. However, in general election AAP performed badly. Not sure, whether  AAP, lost focus about the objective for which it was formed and in the process all seats even in Delhi was lost, which they won in Dec 2013. People decision on voting changed in less than six month towards AAP. 

After 30 years, a party on its own is having a majority and a first non-congress party to have majority in its own. Last time, it was in 1984 when Congress won over 400 seats and since 1984 each successive government was in collision. Even, in case of collision the country look upon a government and more particularly its leader to be decisive. A collision leader could be true and honest, but the people do not to take lightly the statement such as 'Collision Dharma' from  leader of a ruling party, particularly when corruption or kick back happens uninterrupted.

 Democracy is great and at times it can be challenge as well for political parties. At certain point of time a democratic leader have to take tough decision on his own and take responsibility for it and at times the leader might needs to consult elected representative or people. Again, when to consult and when to take responsibility to take tough decision on his own defines the present day ‘democratic leader’.

 I hope, BJP does not get carried out by election victory. The BJP is bestowed with a responsibility to lead the country which would require them to be cautious in all its action and critically need to deliver as per expectation  by providing good governance. 

 Having governed the state of Gujarat for 4th terms interrupted, the people of India had provided a decisive mandate for Modi, with a belief  better days are ahead for India. 

Signing off with a hope that,  India Shines under democratic leadership of Modi!

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Wonders of the world - Pallava and Chola temples

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Being a vacation time, was able to visit quite a few temples in Tanjore, Kumbakonam belt in the last few days.

Amongst many temples, was really amazed at architecture and sculpture works of Brihadeshwarar temple- Tanjore, Darasuram , Tripuvanam and Gangai konda cholapuram temples. These temples had been constructed around 1000 AD by the Chola kings. These massive temple structure has withstood time and the sculpture work is real beauty. One question, which came to my mind is, how come these temples built 1000s year ago still standing tall and majestic does not find its place in wonders of the world, while some of the ruins OR structures built few 100 years ago are considered as wonders of the world. Well, I am not undermining the other wonders of the world, but after visit of these temples, I believe due importance are not given to promote these wonders.

As per history, Kailasnathar Temple at Kanchipuram built around 700 AD by the Pallava king, is said to have inspired Raja Raja chola to build Brihadeshwarar temple in Tanjore.

Brihadeshwarar temple, Tanjore: Build in late 900 AD. This is the first of the Chola's temple. Right in center of Tanjore and hence easily accessible. Have been to this temple quite of few time, due to popularity and being at city center at times its crowded. Due to this, it would be better to visit during early morning hours.

Airavateshwarar Temple, Darasuram: Built around 1000 AD, 40 Kms from Tanjore and near to Kumbakonam.

Gangai Konda Cholapuram: Build around 1100 AD, its about 70 Kms from Tanjore. This temple is said to have been built by the Chola king when he moved his capital from Tanjore to Gangai Konda Cholapuram.

Tirubhuvanam: Built around 1200 AD by Kulothunga Chola III and its near to Kumbakonam. Unlike the other Chola temple which are still preserved in its pristine form, one would find gopuram of this temple in color.

There is lot of similarity in the structure of these temples. Except Bragadeswarar temple at Tanjore, we did not see much crowd in other temple. Hence, you can really spend time and relish its beauty, if you wish.

Further, its just not time, but these structures have withstood various ruler invasion as well.

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Seed India - How to navigate seed capital in India by Sramana Mitra - A review

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Recently, I had an opportunity to read this book.

Sramana, starts by comparing India business scenario in early 90's with recent times about availability of capital. In early 90's venture capital was totally unheard and was pretty much restricted to couple of leading banks. My father been an entrepreneur himself those days in 80s and 90s, I used to keep hearing about VC in India and about couple selective banks which offer VC in early 90s. As far as I know, have not come across a 'start up' or small business funded through VC those days, though there might have been very few of them. In 80s and 90s, only option to fund the gap in working capital is through bank debt finance, which had interest ranging from 16 to 18% per annum, even though small industry was a priority sector lending those days.

It is pointed out that situation has changed in last few years and there are select angel investors who are intensely passionate about technology and have started funding some of the 'start up'. Having said that, one cannot expect VC to tap on doors of entrepreneur as soon as one starts the venture.  To me, apart from funding, there are challenges for a start up for their business to be successful, couple of them being,

  • If the start up is promoting a product unique of its kind, however unique and beneficial it might be for buyer, one cannot expect buyer to buy the product on the first look itself, it always difficult for any one to accept a new product when there is tried and accepted approach to a business process, even though the existing process has many gaps and challenges.
  • Complexity, opportunity cost and price, reliability of product plays a critical role in success of 'new' product. To break even - takes time and till that time one has to sustain.

Its interesting to read about Sramana's lucid interview with various successful entrepreneurs.  Few of them being first generation entrepreneurs. Interview with Phanidra Sama about his Red bus venture and Sachin Bansal about flitkart are really good and the rest are interesting as well. The book could also be pretty useful read, particularly for those, who just ventured as entrepreneur or about to take a plunge into entrepreneurship.

As a matter of fact e-commerce in retail is catching up fast. In last few months, there seems to be competition even amongst retail e-commerce sites. Not just Flipkart, now, there are few other retail sites like Jubong, Snapdeal etc in India. The increased acceptance of these site in India is, particularly due to offerings  like 'cash on delivery' and 'customer returns' if not satisfied, make it more 'friendly' for Indian buyers.  I believe process like  'cash on delivery' or handling 'customer returns' may not be easy, but once the process is set to handle it efficiently, I am pretty sure it would going to pose a greater challenges to shopping malls and physical store which has real estate overhead and they being location centric. The real estate overhead already being high in Indian cities, physical retail stores could find it difficult to compete with e-commerce retail site on price. It might be so happen that, e-commerce in retail could bring price correction in commercial retail real estate space in cities and there by other dependent ones as well.

Even though, India still faces many challenges in many front. As pointed out in the book, the technology and low cost man-power could still be an advantage for an Indian entrepreneur !.

In all enjoyed reading this small book of 140 pages.

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