Blog Archive

October 13, 2010

Together We Can—What can U.S. and India accomplish together?

Robert Browning said,”Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp or what’s a heaven for?” The U.S and India can create a heaven on earth with their combined strength of creative power, technical prowess and financial infrastructure to establish a global stronghold that will not only strengthen the economy but also effectively negate the probability of the occurrence of another lengthy and recurring recession that the world’s facing today.


Indian students are known for their hard work and retention while in the West, students are apostles of creativity and strategic thinking. This is very similar to the left and right brain function. Combining the best aspects of these two educational systems will help the two countries churn out excellent and well-rounded students who will be complete people and who can help the work with their prowess, creativity and knowledge sharing capacity. A combined educational panel that can design a new curriculum to develop teaching modules to mould students through holistic teaching will become a reality and no longer a mere possibility. Student representatives and instructors will be great ambassadors and regular exchange programs will help establish a sound educational system to create a think tank of global citizens and leaders to make the world a better place to live in.

Science and technology

The U.S is renowned for its excellent labs and infrastructure. While India has the required aptitude to learn and teach, the U.S has advanced and sophisticated equipment that can aid the process of crucial data collection that can be interpreted and analyzed by scientists from both the countries together. Be it dealing with the recent devastating oil spill or the long term problem of global warming, collaboration between the super powers holds the key to finding a permanent solution to solve many scientific, environmental and global problems. The Indian Space research Organization (ISRO) and NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) worked together to understand whether there was any ice near the North pole of the moon. This collaboration began around a year ago and today NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft and the ISRO’s Chandrayaan-1 and are orbiting the moon. The success of this project and the possibility of many more projects in the pipeline is just a tip of the iceberg.

Travel Tourism

Healthcare is extremely expensive in the U.S and this is the main reason why travel tourism has got a much-needed impetus in recent times. Healthcare in India is extremely reasonable and affordable. The standards of healthcare and constantly improving each day and this will help the U.S bring down their overall expenditure and also establish a healthy working relationship between the two nations based solely on the noble field of medicine. The U.S is a pioneer in research that involves treating cancer through immunotherapy and radiation, dealing with debilitating diseases like Alzheimer’s and extensive research has been done in other realms like bioinformatics and genetic engineering, neurology and neuroscience, pharmacology, etc. Combining the analytical skills of Indian doctors, the majority of which who work in a stressful environment using meager resources and the cutting-edge technology and research methods adopted by American doctors will help in the development of a cure for many unknown ailments and well-known tropical diseases and infections to help the global population. The advancements made in Africa by combining the strengths of both these countries to treat and cure diseases is already known the world over.

The U.S. and India can accomplish a lot together. Their collaboration will help not just both the nations but the entire world as each of them represents one half of an intelligent brain and there is no limit to what this totality can accomplish.

July 15, 2010

Sweet Child of Mine: A Nurse's Saga

You lay there, immobile, tired and spent, with your eyes unseeing and unfocused,

It was obvious that you had just come back from a session where radiation coursed through your body.

Powerful, life-rendering and energy-sapping beams ripping through your fragile, young and tiny frame,

I stood there, by your bed, with your case sheet in my hand, recording the number of chemotherapy sessions that you were scheduled for over the next few weeks,

An invisible hand, as real and true as every other part of me, wanted to rip the merciless sheets apart and carry you far away from your misery,

To a time and place where the first cell in your body wouldn't start rapidly and ferociously dividing to take away that very life form that created and housed it to begin with.

There are so many things that you have to do and have to see-people,places and the list goes on,

It's too early for you to say goodbye and bid adieu when you barely got the chance of even saying Hello!

This is your time to eat popsicles, play in your sandbox and go to the park and swing,

But the darkness of death that I see hovering above you has reduced you to a skeletal frame of bone and blood,

I administer your drugs and pump in chemicals into your body through the tubes that have now have become a fixture as natural to you as your aura,

To see the pain in your eyes and hear the words unspoken through your lips make me shudder with a thought I never thought I'd ever be capable of thinking,

Dear Lord, have mercy! Let the sweet Angel of Death hold this child in her arms,

If this is what it takes to free her from the misery that life bestowed on during her short odyssey.

June 20, 2010

Getting Your First Job: Tips for Indian Writers

Just like no two fingerprints can ever be the same, no writer can exactly mimic the writing style or attain the depth a fellow writer may possess. Writers are like painters who use their thoughts on a clear canvass to create something unique in their signature style. The content, the style, the vocabulary, the grammar, the sentence structure, etc are all crucial determinants in deciding the quality of a writer. Being a fledgling writer myself a few years ago, the tips I would like to elucidate below may not guarantee you a great job or a lucrative project, as personally they do not define my concept of success. However, I promise you one thing and that is after going through these tips you will definitely scrutinize your writing skills and come to a logical consensus of your ability to express your thoughts, ideas, opinions and views with crystal clear clarity and emotion.

  1. Know your domain: It is imperative for a writer to know what exactly is his/her area of expertise is. Variety is the spice of life, but this holds true only when you are absolutely confident that you can pull it off really well and with great élan. For example, all award-winning writers are sure of their skills and their ability to deliver in a single genre of writing: fiction or non-fiction.

  1. Correct Grammar: Basic grammatical mistakes like incorrect subject-verb agreement, wrong usage of tenses and maybe even something as minute as the wrong plural form not only diminish the quality of writing but also obstruct the smooth flow of sentences. I’ve always felt that writing should be like the title of Paulo Coelho’s amazing and famous book: ‘Like a flowing river.’ Please do not let a logical area like grammar that is so similar to math in its underlying concept be an impediment. Maybe you can start brushing up your grammar by picking out the grammatical mistakes in this article. It’s all in good humor!

  1. Good Vocabulary: Sprinkling a dash of spellbinding words all over an article that sound so very intelligent and regal is a common practice almost all writers indulge in. The best part is that appropriate usage of good words in the correct context will never diminish even with a rapid increase in their numbers in your repertoire, if you strive to ensure you have actually captured the true meaning and absorbed the true essence of all these words. So, use “big” words, but be prudent.

  1. Regularity: What is common to a dog and the human mind? They both need regular exercise. Your brain needs to be wired so that it can think anytime and anyplace. Thinking creatively comes with ease only when the mind is forced into a disciplined routine. Most writers are born, but some become writers through sheer hard work and practice. You can design a good schedule yourself because only you know which category you truly belong to.

  1. Clarity: The ability to clothe your emotions in words is the only real challenge you face as a writer. The interplay of all the factors mentioned above will make you a good writer. To be a great writer is a different ball game altogether. A great writer can weave his/her thoughts into a beautiful synchronized pattern elegantly and seamlessly. There is no crowding of thoughts, as you never spot any run-on sentences in their work.
This pretty much sums up all that has to be said about being a good writer. These five points, I hope, have done their job of a quick SWOT analysis to assess your writing ability. But, the most important thing above all is to have fun and enjoy yourself when you sit down to ‘pen’ down your thoughts. Happy writing!

Rapidly Diminishing Courtesy

 I see rapidly diminishing signs of courtesy across a very large and broad demographic around me. Courtesy is a broad-spectrum term and can be used to denote the smallest gesture like opening the door for someone right behind you, barring their sex, to letting someone get ahead of you if they seem to be in a real hurry.

First of all, I believe that being courteous doesn’t cost anything and doesn’t involve too much of time, energy or thought. We are all accustomed to routine and within this framework of time, to be respectful, decent and polite to people around is not really asking for too much. On all humanitarian grounds, being courteous should be as natural as our reflexes and instincts are to us. I have made the best friends in life and met amazing people only because of this kind of well-encouraged ‘spur of the moment’ courtesy.

Second, I truly feel that we are the losers if we continue to remain mute spectators witnessing these declining rates of courteousness. What began as a mere show of one-upmanship to establish pseudo superiority in circles of business is now seen even in the mundane events like someone crossing a road, boarding a bus  or buying a ticket to the theater. To state the obvious, people who show absolutely no manners and respect when they need to, don’t even turn out to be even acquaintances, leave alone comrades for a lifetime.

On the other hand, we might have people saying that this stuff really doesn’t matter and makes no big difference. ‘There is no time for such petty things when there are more important things to be considered,’ is what I often hear. Why even bother prioritizing what is important and what is not if people lack the basic ability to respond to living entities around them in a decent and professional manner.

To sum it up, a kind word, pleasant demeanor, a sweet smile might not exactly make you the head honcho of the next company you want to work with. But, staying courteous will never go out of vogue. If there is anyone who forgets the importance of this, they will not only remain emotionally poor and just get poorer with time, but will lose out the opportunity of holding onto that thread that holds together the fabric of life in the community and the society, as a whole.

January 15, 2008

The Far Pavilions--M.M Kaye

The book is a record of the lovely life that Ashton led-a man who realized he was half caste and half bred and knew that nothing except joining the Queen's guides would give him peace of mind.Intellectually gifted and wise beyond his years, the man falls in love with an Indian princess who is also in the same bog.

Kaye's portrayal of the beauty of the Indian landscape along the north-west frontier takes the reader on a journey of their own imagination. Be it the cascading waterfalls of the Himalayas or the rapids of the Indus or the bleary deserts of Rajasthan.The amalgamation of excellent pictorial description and the depth and intensity of the thoughts that play in the mortal mind are alluring.

We feel like Ashtons and his love Kairi bai ourselves, our souls pining for the unrequited love and heartache. The book also clearly depicts the love a foreigner can have for an alien country even though his surrogate homeland gives him nothing except fear, hatred and pain.The reverse metamorphosis of Ashton-the Sahib to Ashok the Afghan soldier is thought-provoking and spell-binding. A matrix of society and values entwined for the ultimate good of all mankind with a dash of humanity thrown is the underlying idea throughout the book's theme.

July 16, 2007

Snapshots from Hell-Peter Robinson

We humans are always in pursuit of anything greater than ourselves or anything which makes our lives wholesome, perhaps money/wealth scaffolding the bigger picture. Peter Robinson as a speech writer for the U.S president. However, when he gets to Stanford, life comes to a grinding halt. He asks himself throughout the course whether leaving his safe and secure job was really worth it. The mail fact that is particularly endearing about this man's enduring period at Stanford is the way he sees people around him to boost his morale. His understanding of 'Utility Maximization' is soothingly hilarious. Though this book seems to be more of a very soulful, heartfelt satire of the Stanford setup, there is no malice or hatred when the author refers to his Alma Mater. MBA's are born, never cultivated, in the literal sense of the term. This book is definitely a must read for all our aspiring MBA's cos it really proves his point that money can motivate, encourage and stimulate you, but you can never be a good investment banker if the very concept of decision-making flowcharts and spreadsheets tire you to the hilt.

November 22, 2006

Disturbing the peace-Richard Yates

What would you do if life suddenly seems to be a roller-coaster ride? What can you hold onto when everything seems so temporary and pseudo and you remain a lost cause and a loser? Moving to extremes, you end up having a nervous breakdown. This is a book about a man gradually losing his identity, a man who loses his cool and drives himself to an institution to keep himself away from his family, whom he now feels like slaughtering mercilessly. This is an insight into the harsh and crude realities of a disturbed mind. When you don't listen to your heart and follow your dreams, you are instantly transformed into a demon-cold, dangerous and violent. So, please read this amazing story on the plethora of emotions a human can possibly express. Break free from the mundane cobweb of thoughts and stop by to ask yourself- "Is this what I want to do?"