The Essence of the Bagwat Gita

You can also read the abridged english version of the Gita on my website.

* The soul is immortal. It does not take birth. Nor does it die. Nobody can kill you. Then why feel worried? Or fear anybody.

* Whatever happened in the past was for the good. Whatever is happening now is also for the good. Whatever will happen in the future will be for the good too. Hence do no repent over the past. Do not worry for the future. Just think of the present that is in progress.

* What have you lost for which you wee? What is that you brought with you but have now lost? What is there that you produced but has now perished? You did not bring anything to this world .Whatever you have, you had it only here. Whatever you have taken it is from Him, the Almighty. Whatever you rendered it was rendered into His. Empty-handed you came and empty-handed you will go. Whatever is yours today was somebody else’s yesterday and will be somebody else’s tomorrow. You take delight in the illusion that it belongs to you. Also this illusory happiness is at the root of all your suffering.

* Change is the law of Universe. What you deem as death is, in reality, life. A moment can turn you into a millionaire; another can reduce you to a pauper. Free your mind from such thoughts as ‘this is mine-this yours’, ‘this is great –this petty’ and the shackles that hold you capital will collapse. Then everything will belongs to you and you to everyone.

* Neither you belong to the body nor body belongs to you. The body is constituted by the five elements: earth, water, air, fire and vacuum. After death, it will disintegrate and return to these elements. The soul, however, is eternal and unchangeable. What are you- the soul or the body?

* Surrender yourself to the will of God. He is the best anchor. He who knows about this anchor gets liberated from fear, anxiety and sorrow for ever.

* Dedicate all your actions to God. It will enable you to experience the happiness of a truly Liberated One.

Republic Day

Another year draws to a start. Another year past in which India achieved its independence. Another Republic Day parade grows near.

Tomorrow - 26th January, is India's republic day.

When I was young, the republic day parade was something we enjoyed watching on Doordarshan. As kids it was especially nice as it is also a National Holiday. As kids we don't think too much and enjoy everything. The jets flying overhead, the tanks rumbling down the rajpath , the different Jhankis.

But over the year I have started to feel sad. 59 years now since India got independence. And what have we achieved as an independent nation ? 59 years would have been enough to make India into a developed country - but we are still in the 'developing' countries category. Why has our independence failed to make us rise above the other countries.

There is no doubt in people's mind that India has great talent. And not just talent but also great culture. We gave the world the concept of 0 or shounya. We gave the world a few religions - hinduism, buddhism, jainism, sikkhism. We gave the world the oldest civilization of Harrapa. We gave the world one of the 7 wonders of the world - the Taj Mahal. We have the most diverse biological habitats in the world. We are the only country to have an ocean named after us - the Indian Ocean. Our brain talent is very much appreciated in the developed countries and has lead to a new model of business - offshoring. We gave the world the thrill of coming face to face with the Tigers. We caused an entire continent of the Americas to be discovered.

And yet - we are failing.

I have been riding through India through the last few years. And everywhere I see the same. People are still living as they were around the time of independence. People have become richer in bits and pieces but not wholely. Many places have actually deteriorated. Most of the roads in the country have not been repaired for decades - just go through MP and you will experience it for itself. And its not just the country side - even upcoming cities have very bad roads. Check out Pune and Bangalore roads. An effort to make the roads was started by the erstwhile PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee - but when his goverment lost the elections - the new government - the congress seems to have just let it lie.

Opposition in this country is about opposing whatever the current government does , not about being opposing to wrong practicies - but to just oppose for opposing sake.

The only time roads seem to be getting made in this country is when some big politicians in power have to go somewhere. Take the case of the roads in hyderabad. Most of the roads here have been repaired just because there was to be an All India Congress meet. Tax-payers money gone in putting up the hoardings showing the Gandhi family in 50 foot tall cutouts.

Democracy in this country is a Monarchy - especially when it comes to the Congress. First came Nehru, then Indira Gandhi, followed by Rajeev Gandhi and now the congress people are harping for Rahul Gandhi. I thought democracy was put into place to stop the rule of families - but it is not so in India. If you are the scion of a political family, you have better chances of coming into power - and once you are in power of course you do not need to do anything. Case in point Lalu Prasad Yadav - who ruled in Bihar for 20 years and made it one of the worst states in the country.

Why have a democracy ? have a monarchy. At least if the ruler is good, he gets a lifetime to make things better unlike the 5 years in a democracy.

Another fact missing in the indian society is art. I don't call M F Hussain's work as art. I call the Taj mahal as art. I call Ajanta and Ellora as art. I call the Rashtrapati Bhavan as art. Travel around the country and you will realize something over time that all these artistic buildings, the great architecture have been made before independence. The only architecturally beautiful building I have seen after independence is the Ashwardham Temple. Everything else is just a few boxes stacked so that the builder makes the most amount of money. I am living on rent for the last few years as I travel through the cities I work in, and everywhere I find houses which should not even be fit to be called houses. But we still live there. No, most of us don't even live. We just exist.

In place of such a democracy I think we should have a Monarchy. Look back at history, and its the Monarchs who have done anything noteworthy. Be it Ashoka , or Chandragupta . It takes a person - a single person - not a coalation - to take the comuntry forwards. To take it towards greatness.

I keep seeing small signs of greatness in this country. They are like sparks. They need to become a flame. We need a person who can blow wind into the sparks to make them flames.
On this Republic Day, i pray to god to give us such a person. A person who can make changes happen. Who wants to see the Country become greater than making his or her bank account greater.

How to do what you love

Paul Graham has written an article on doing what you love. It closely mirrors what I have been realizing over the years that work is not necessarily boring and something which you should do because you have to do it, nor that you need to know with clarity in college/school as to what you are going to do. Don't forget, Einstien was labelled as a slow learner in school !

some quotes from the article:

Here's an upper bound: Do what you love doesn't mean, do what you would like to do most this second.
...try to do things that would make your friends say wow.
The test of whether people love what they do is whether they'd do it even if they weren't paid for it-- even if they had to work at another job to make a living.
Although doing great work takes less discipline than people think-- because the way to do great work is to find something you like so much that you don't have to force yourself to do it-- finding work you love does usually require discipline.
Don't decide too soon. Kids who know early what they want to do seem impressive, as if they got the answer to some math question before the other kids. They have an answer, certainly, but odds are it's wrong....
... Now she has a life chosen for her by a high-school kid.



Mac World 2006 - the 'wow!' factor

For those who don't know, apart from Microsoft and Linux , there is another operating system called OSX which is from Apple - the company that gave you the iPOD.

Annually , there is an expo which happens called the MacWorld which is based on the company. This years mac world expo's keynote address can be found at :

http://macworld.apple.com.edgesuite.net/mw/index.html

And then the 'wow' factor starts.

First of all , you will need a broad band connection - as this is streaming video. Once you are set , then only can you enjoy the 'wow! factor'.

The first thing is the the video quality. Its like you are playing a DVD ! Wow ! I have not seen streaming video to be so good !

And Steve jobs does a great job of achoring the presentation. If you are a podcaster, you will be totally blown away by the 'garage band' demo given by steve.

Check it out !

1st Week at Microsoft

The first week at the Microsoft Campus draws to a close. I am not at liberty to tell you about my work ( NDA and stuff ), so I will just give my impressions about the place - and also avoid having to tell my friends individually and over and over again how this place is.

Microsoft India Development Center is located in Gachibowli in Hyderabad. Nothing outstanding about this place actually. It is just space allocated for a tech park kind of place. This was a barren land, and the campus is brand new. Google Earth shows this place as nothing but stones (outdated pics) . The road has the India Business Center, the Infosys Campus, Wipro Campus and Microsoft. Big names in a small road :-)

The campus is pretty nice . Only one building has been built so far, with another one coming up. There is a cricket ground, Basket Ball court, Tennis Court, Volleyball Court, Gym ... and people do play during the day time. Its not a place where you can only go after office hours - cause there are no office hours. How this translates to the working environment is yet to be seen. Each floor has among other things pool-tables and xbox stations (yet to try those out ;-) ) , Coffee and Coke vending machines !

The one thing I really like about this place is the space. There is space in the corridors - miserly treatment to them is not there. The cubicles are big and only one person per cubicle is there. All the companies that I have worked for till now have multiple people per cubicle - with 4 persons per cube being the rule. Here - you have individual cubes. Sitting in my cube I get reminded of my onsite trips to client facilities. It feels like I am working out of San Jose instead of Gachibowli. People are really warm and helpful, though I guess that is because I have just joined and have had lesser time to mess around and make things worse ;-) .

Haven't seen much of the city yet. The roads to the HiTech City and Gachibowli are being widened and quite a lot of repair work in being undertaken. The roads are not up to the standards of the major roads in Delhi , but much better than the sad state of roads in Pune. More info about the city later.

Slip ... Thunk !!!

Slip ... Thunk !!

"We already fell down twice" said the guy helping me up.

...

It was a nice day. After a couple of days of rains and overcast skies, the sun finally showed its face. Oblivious to the change in the weather I was as usual sleeping late. Finally got up at 11am, and seing the weather planned on going to Dhanaulti.

Let home around 11:00 AM on Tweety. After servicing ( which included chaning the air filter) , she was warbelling prettily, and off I went. First stop to dehradun to fuel up and then to the hills of Mussorie.

This was the first time I was attacking the curves solo. First time was with my cousin, second time with Jas, third time with my sister. Fourth time lucky.

Roads were empty, and the bike was willing. Turn after turn we raced up the hillside. A streak of yellow enjoying the sunshine.

Roads

We took the turn towards dhanaulti ... just follow the red railing. The road changed .. so did the scenery. Far in the distant the snow capped mountains rose up majestically. Time for some photography.


Road to Dhanaulti

Tweety and the Mountains

Up Close - the power of Zoom

Passed a WagonR. The family no doubt out to enjoy the weather. Kids were runnind towards a slight depression where there was some snow around a lake. "hmmm" I thought. "The water is not frozen. Its not that cold".

And time passed by till I reached the Tehri-Gharwal border. Took a few pics. Snow by the roadside ... people enjoying the snow. Slush on the road. I need to be careful now I think. The jeep in front of me brakes. I brake. The bike does not.

slip... Thunk!!

"We already fell down twice" said a guy helping me up and pointing to his and his friends bike just ahead of me. "are you hurt ?"

I got up gingerly... and the first thing I noticed - the ground was not slush. It was not soft. It was hard ... and slippery. Black Ice ???

No Further

The whole road was one ice skating place. Keeping my feet from moving around wasn't easy. Somehow with the help of the guys got the bike upright, and put it on the main stand.

Thunk ... the guy's bike had fallen again. Helped them up. The entire curve was parked with bikes. Apparently everyone had come till this point and slipped. No one was taking their bikes further , though they were slipping and sliding walking onwards to the snow filled hillside, throwing snowballs at each other.

Me ? I decided to turn back. I needed to be back in Dehradun by 6 to meet Varun and Deepak - guys who had just joined BN and with a dream to tour India in a couple of months time.

Funny, the return journey takes less time. :-)

Google Zeitgeist 05

Somehow Google just keeps me interested, and they do it by bringing out things that people like me like. A search engine which is superfast and accurate, an email service which had more storage space than anyone else can give, a talk client which ties in with the email service and with a superclean interface.

Rounding up the year Google brings the zeitgeist which follow the major trends of 05. Want to know the topmost searches ? Or how the searches were based on the different natural phenomena of 05 ? Head over to :
http://www.google.com/press/zeitgeist2005.html

Here's a sample graph to get you interested :

Your dangerous Idea?

What is your dangerous Idea ? Edge has an article which has people's dangerous ideas.

You can read the article at : http://www.edge.org/q2006/q06_print.html

So, what is your dangerous idea ? :-)