Of Cabbages and Kings

On a crusade to find myself

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day.. Should be everyday

Motherhood, the strongest bond and relationship that a human being can experience… Something that was in being ever since man roamed the planet and was the very foundation of our existence as a race..However, it was not until 1912, when Anna Jarvis trademarked the second Sunday of May as “Mother’s Day” that we started celebrating the bond.."She was specific about the location of the apostrophe; it was to be a singular possessive, for each family to honor their mother, not a plural possessive commemorating all mothers in the world”
Hence it is spelt as Mother’s Day and not as Mothers’ Day
Different countries celebrate Mother’s Day on different days but the most common following is of the second Sunday of May..
In Nepal, Mata Tirtha Aunshi falls in the month of Baishak dark fortnight (April). This festival falls in the time of dark moon’s time which is why this called "Mata Tirtha Aunshi" derived from words: “Mata” meaning mother; “Tirtha” meaning pilgrimage. This festival is observed in the commemoration and respect of the mother which is celebrated by worshipping and gifting living mother or remembering mothers who have become immortal and are resting in peace. Going to Mata Tirtha Pilgrimage located towards the Kathmandu valley’s eastern side at Mata Tirtha Village development committee’s periphery is another tradition common in Nepal.
In Japan, Mother's Day was initially commemorated during the Showa Period as the birthday of Empress Kojun (mother of Emperor Akihito). Nowadays it is a marketed holiday, and people typically give flowers such as carnations and roses as gifts.
In China, Mother's Day is becoming more popular, and carnations are a very popular gift and the most sold type of flower.In 1997 it was set as the day to help poor mothers, especially to remind people of the poor mothers on rural areas such as China's west. In the People's Daily, the Communist Party of China's journal, an article explained that "despite originating in the United States, people in China take the holiday with no hesitance because it goes in line with the country's traditional ethics -- respect to the elderly and filial piety to parents."
In Greece, Mother's Day in Greece corresponds to the Eastern Orthodox feast day of the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple. Since the Theotokas (The Mother of God) appears prominently in this feast as the one who brought Christ to the Temple at Jerusalem, this feast is associated with mothers.

In UK and Ireland, In the Mothering Sunday falls on the fourth Sunday of Lent, exactly three weeks before Easter Sunday (March 22 in 2009). It is believed to have originated from the 16th Christian practice of visiting one's mother's church annually, which meant that most mothers would be reunited with their children on this day

The United States and Canada celebrate Mother's Day on the second Sunday in May.

Mother's Day in Vietnam is called Lễ Vu-lan and celebrated on the fifteenth day of the seventh month in the Lunar calendar . People with living mothers would be thankful, while people with dead mothers would pray for their souls.

CommercializationNine years after the first official Mother's Day, commercialization of the U.S. holiday became so rampant that Anna Jarvis herself became a major opponent of what the holiday had become and spent all her inheritance and the rest of her life fighting what she saw as an abuse of the celebration.
Later commercial and other exploitations of the use of Mother's Day infuriated Anna and she made her criticisms explicitly known throughout her time. She criticized the practice of purchasing greeting cards, which she saw as a sign of being too lazy to write a personal letter. She was arrested in 1948 for disturbing the peace while protesting against the commercialization of Mother's Day, and she finally said that she "wished she would have never started the day because it became so out of control
So much about history.. But as a person, who has lost his mother, I remember her as the only person in this whole world, who would have stood by me even if I was wrong. The only person, who would love me without expecting anything in return.

The importance of the relation is more felt when the person is gone.. I would urge all of you who still have their mothers around.. To spend quality time with them (just a gift or a dinner on Mother’s day does not mean you have fulfilled your side of the obligation)..The relationship is of the highest level one could think of.. Everyday should be celebrated as a Mother’s day..

Source of data – Wikipedia.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Me .. in short

Things that I love doing..
  • Reading - everything from Khalil Gibran to C Rajgopalachari to Jeffrey Archer...
  • Watching English Serials - Favourites are 24, Prison Break, Criminal Minds, Boston Legal, CSI, Bones..
  • Watching Quiz Shows - Kaun Banega Crorepati to Weakest Link
  • Trading the markets - my first love..
  • Drawing, Sketching, Painting
  • Doing basic housework - basic plumbing, fixing lights etc on weekends
  • Cooking - Find it really relaxing - think I am fairly good..
  • Computer Games - again one of my first loves - I play more than my kids..
  • Eating Out - very experimental with food - love to try different cuisines.
  • Long Drives - I love driving - usually drive to Goa -2-3 times a year and many more times to nearby places like Pune
  • Gadgets - Ipods, blackberrys, cameras, computers, lap tops, LCDs, hometheaters, Wii, Playstation - list goes on...
  • Going on vacations..

  • Things that I do not like...
  • Bottles without the cap fixed - Wife tends to leave them open and this is the biggest reason for domestic arguments !!
  • Untidy beds / dirty loos..
  • White lies - small lies that do not really matter - Wonder why people lie !!
  • Unorganised people - people who forget dates / appointments etc
  • Dancing - I am very bad.. and wife is very good.. another duty that I have to perform as a good husband !
  • People who cannot make up their mind
  • People who are always unhappy with themselves and are full of self pity

For the people who know me well - Is there anything else that you can add about me ?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Death.. and after that..

In the last few years have seen so much death around me.. Maybe its a function of growing old.. As one starts edging into his/her forties, the elders get even older and some of them leave for the heavenly abode..

Most religions seem to believe in a after-life.. It maybe in the form of rebirth or some sort of reward system for your acts on earth - some form of heaven or hell..So except for the atheists - we all believe that there is life after death..But what is “life after death” ? is there a physical form ? or is it just what we call the soul.. a body-less subconscious form…

I often wonder when I read the religious scriptures that maybe our thoughts remain in this world itself in some unseen form.Many years after the death of their writers, we still remember verses from the holy scriptures.. Could this be the life after death for the writers?

We also remember the great deeds done by the conquerors, scientists and also the notorious criminal minds of the world… They still live through their deeds and the seeds that they have sown.. Is this life after death for them?

How would you like to be remembered? What if you could look down on yourself from somewhere up above and see people thinking of the things you have done while you were alive.. Would you like to be remembered as a good “soul” or a bad one ?

We all can pull the world apart .. or push it together.. This cannot be done in a day ..but needs a life-time.. Whats important is Which way did you push today?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Things that change as we move up....

As you move up the corporate ladder, a lot of changes take place...
1. Your day-to-day responsibilities go down but your year-to-year go up
Your targets get longer. You are looked up upon to provide a long term direction to the business and not get involved in day-to-day stuff. You start thinking long term strategy.
2. You become less "responsible" but more "accountable"
Because, you are not into day to day stuff, you are not responsible for the everyday business but you are accountable for your team.. and the cumulative business
3. You versus the team
You start realising that one person (Till now.. you) can take a product to a certain level.. But a whole team can take it much further.. So you start working on motivating the team rather than doing everything yourself. Your key job becomes "Managing and building a team"
4. Your physical stress decreases while mental stress increases
A fall out of the accountability syndrome. You get more time to sit back and Think.. But thinking adds to mental stress..
5. You also start thinking of competition..
As you move out of the "me" shell, you start looking and thinking of the world around you and how others are doing their business.

There could be many more such changes..
Some of these are not as easy as they look on a blog.. To change ones way of thinking and looking at work.. especially if you have been doing a line function for years .. is very difficult and to switch to a managerial role.. sit back and think !! ..it has to be a conscious effort for most of us..

Have any of you noticed the changes in yourselves as you have moved up the corporate ladder ??

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Dogs and their owners

I walk for 1 hour everyday at a place called Worli Seaface in Mumbai.. There are many dog-owners who come there with their pets..
I got this strong feeling that dog tend to look like their owners in a strange way..
I searched the net and found the pictures below

Types of people..

I had not traveled in a train for over 10 years. Maybe because I either drove down to nearby places (for convenience) or flew down to where I wanted to go (for lack of time).
Just a few weeks ago, I took the morning train to Pune to meet an interior decorator who was going to design the new house that I had purchased in Pune. Just out of boredom for driving down, I took the morning train.
The journey through the Western Ghats (Hills) is extremely picturesque and very pleasant. One can read a book, look out of the window or grab a quick nap.
The Nap is slightly difficult with the numerous cell phones ringing all the time..
What struck me is that different types of people have different ring-tones.
Over the 3 hours in the train, I could almost picture the person based on the ring-one of his phone..
There was this priest who had a religious song for his ring-tone, while a person in mid thirties who has a Shakira song, and a younger college going teen had Coldplay.

This got me thinking.. Can we actually classify people based on ring-tones ?What are the other common ways of classifying people.. Clothes ? Type of pets ? Type of food ? Language spoken ? ..Can you think of any other non-obvious ways to classify people ??

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Punjabi Food for a dime....

When I was studying for my MBA at the Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management, the girls in my class who were non Mumbai-ites , used to stay at the Girls hostel at Marine drive.
These girls had discovered a nice homely food place called Crystal. This small “hole-in-the-wall” joint is situated next to Wilson college.
See the pictures below:

The old owner sitting below the staircase that leads to the upper mezzanine floor

External Facade with the Icecream counter :

The lower seating area :

The upper seating area :

Located next the GANT showroom, behind a well stocked coconut seller !!, Crsytal signifies the “old-meets-new” theory.The restaurant does not boast of ambience or décor but speaks only through the delicious food. The food is vegetarian and based on the North-Indian cuisine
The décor (one cannot really call it décor) consists of plastic chairs, small tables and antique fans.
The mezzanine floor is for families and has table fans.
While passing Marine drive yesterday, my wife and I just felt like trying it out after many years..Though the rates have gone up a little but not so much as to get our finance mister worried about inflation, (Baingan Bharta at Rs. 22 against Rs. 15 around 15 yrs ago), the quality of food remains the same.

Menu Below : is short and crisp, around 30 dishes.. Max price Rs 35.

Forgetting my diet for a day, we ordered Baingan Bharta (mashed brinjal), Rajma (kidney beans), Alu-Gobi (Potato-Cauliflower), Phulkas (puffed Indian bread) and then Kheer (yummy-milk and rice based dessert) and some chaas (butter milk) and bottled water..And the bill was just Rs 130. (USD 2.5) .. Cheaper than what it may have cost to cook at home..

Over the years I have seen many such food places who serve great tasty food at rock bottom prices being sold to make way for bank ATMs, apparel showrooms etc.. Hope Crystal survives the onslaught of the global brands into India..


Sunday, February 04, 2007

The Paradox of Exercise

The new target in my life is to lose weight and get to my “ideal weight” levels.
I realized that the biggest hindrance to that is the comfort levels that we live with.
What I mean is.. I travel to work in a car, go to my office in an elevator, at the airports we use escalators and travelators.. the list goes on.. right to the level where we have remote controls to adjust TVs, fans and lights..
Over the years, man has designed these machines / gadgets to make himself lazy.. and now that he has started feeling unhealthy (read as fat in my case), he tends to find other machines like the treadmill, cross country trainer etc to get back in shape..
I think there is some sense in doing what our ancestors did.. use the natural ways to exercise.
Its much healthier to walk on the road (may be on a beach) rather than on a treadmill.
What say ?