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Food for thought ...

Excerpt from: Do you think secular individuals and group will have a different view on such issues? Shahi Imam: Our problem is that we misinterpret secularism. No individual is secular. It is that states that are secular. States must not discriminate one religious community from the other. Thus the Christians and Muslims have the right to protest and request the government to follow equal treatment, to be called secular. Religious matters should be restrained. In the name of creativity, innovation, freedom of speech and thought, one has no right to hurt anyone of another faith. I usually don't agree even a speck with Shahi Imam - but I think I agree with a part of the above statement. Individuals have faiths - hence they cannot be secular in every sense of the word - even Gandhiji went on record to state that -'I prefer Hinduism to other religions'. However, I don't think secularism means not preferring any one f

Is casteism a systemic problem?

The most frequented debate nowadays in India is the new reservation law in central government institutions. Casteism as a system has continued since ages in India - and post independence an effort was made to correct the anomaly by offering reservations to backward classes. However, instead of uprooting the problem, the government has ended up systematically recognizing the very caste that it aimed to de-recognize. So during one debate, someone suggested that the only solution to the problem was for everyone to renounce his/her caste so that the very root of the evil is removed. I quote - Lets us give up our caste and second-names/surnames that indicate our castes. Lets pledge that we will not give any castse and surname to our offsprings. Lets appeal it to everyone to display their belief in equality by giving up their caste, surnames and destroying the inequalities that were thrust upon. But I have a different view; in my opinion castiesm is not a system that can be or should be u

A drop in the ocean

"Nikhil is a sanskrit term meaning 'complete' and hence the name of this blog... has nothing to do with my self-perception...nobody can be complete..and definitely not me..." I wrote this text exactly 2 years ago as the first few words on this blog. And the next two years were quite action-packed - Summers, MastishK, Prerana, Ethics Committee, Placements, KPMG, Travelogues .... this blog revolved around all this. I have meanwhile changed a lot - my lifestyle, beliefs, language ... and I have added a lot many friends along the way - Good friends? No. Great friends. Looking back, one realizes how much education and companionship can change the course of one's life. While MBA taught me how to think big - it was friends who helped me cement the belief. It was like curing a cement plaster - the end result has been that my growth path has changed. When I started this blog, I had a plan to start-up an enterprize immediately after my MBA - however small it might b

Namma Bangalore ...

I frankly don't know what the title means - but have seen it on many a bangaloreans' blog ;-). I wrote quite critically of Bangalore when I first visited the city . I have visited it umpteen times after that and slowly I have started appreciating a more balanced view of the city. The first positive with Bangalore is its a.www.some climate. You especially realize this when you land in here from a wet-and-hot Chennai at 10 P.M. after it has 'just-rained' in Bengaluru. Traffic remains a problem with Bangalore, but finally the much awaited flyover on the Airport road seems to be nearing completion and with the metro rail project at the end of the tunnel - future does seem bright for Bangalore. However, as compared to other cities, Bangalore I think moves very slowly on its infrastructure projects. Then again, Bangalore looks much more impressive than other older metros like Mumbai and Delhi. Firstly, there aren't as many slums; comparing against Mumbai where there are s

To a year on ... is add to maturity

It's been another year of life - I turned 25 yesterday. It feels great to acknowledge to yourself on such days that you have a place on earth and in hearts of few people as well. I personally am slightly careless and forgetful person when it comes to my own self ;-) and there have been more than one occasion when I forgot my own birthday. But yesterday was not so, thanks to my parents, relatives and friends who kept reminding me of the occasion since past 2 weeks. And the number of phone calls I received from midnight till midnight made my day. Payal called up from the US, and what was meant to be a 2 minute call to wish me turned out to be a 45 minute chat from Professional Life to Indian Politics. Same was the case when Hemant called up from Geneva - we discussed projects, dreams and more - I felt that I have rolled a few balls in the past 25 years. 'Twas a great feeling to get all expected calls from relatives, friends and acquaintances. To add were the many mails that kept

Kaam Roko !!!

I got this amusingly ridiculous forward yesterday .... Petrol in Pakistan Rs17 per liter Malaysia Rs 18 per liter In India it's 48 per liter Why this difference in Asia itself ? It has been calculated that if everyone did not purchase a drop of petrol for one day and all at the same time, the oil companies would choke on their stockpiles. At the same time it would hit the entire industry with a net loss over 4.6 billion dollars which affects the bottom lines of the oil companies. Therefore "Thursday September 22nd " the people of this nation should not buy a single drop of petrol that day. My response to it ... Growth rate of Malaysia 7.8% Growth rate of Pakistan 6.4% For India it's 8.2 % Why should Indian's alone work hard?? Lets all sit and relax in our home - lets stop coming to office, stop going to markets, stop buying stocks, stop earning bonuses .... I would have loved to avoid petrol on September 22 had they raised the cause of energy conservation or envir

Love ...

I am not someone whom you could expect to write on the above topic. Firstly because I am usually miles away from romantic excursions and for those who know me well - I do not believe in concepts like 'Love at First Sight'. But the credit of getting me thinking about this subject goes to two near and dear ones who in my eyes would classify as an ideal couple. In my opinion love is a feeling that one develops after spending a considerable amount of time; it is a point where you accept the individual with his/her faults and qualities - and while you may want to change the negatives - you would still love the person irrespective of whether the changes happen or not. In simple words, there is no expectation - just a selfless give away of affection and service. I have been witness to more than one affairs, but few have looked (in my terms as described above) true and authentic Love. This one did qualify - and God knows I wanted it to reach its deserved conclusion from the bottom of m

I had never thought this would happen to me ...

Following is a list of things, I never thought would happen to me; but are happening to me. To clarify, not that I am all excited about these things, but nevertheless I had never thought that they would happen to me Getting bored of traveling ... and living in an AC room Meeting an old college friend at the airport and getting introduced to her husband there Getting fed-up of evening and late evening calls with my US counterparts Spending close to Rs 1500 a day on travel alone Spending less time on the Bed than travel during a 3 day period Longing to get back to my un-furnished apartment from a plush hotel Getting bored of outside food - reject offer for food in an aircraft Becoming a fan of a Hollywood actor (Tom Hanks) Interacting with my friends in Hyderabad and Geneva more frequently than with my room-mates Scheduling meetings with friends on the airport due to lack of time Telling acquaintances that I am hardly present in Mumbai to visit them there Getting a whole month's bil

Home vs Residence vs. Accommodation

Nowadays, I have been having trouble answering a very common question people ask me. Let me illustrate it through a dialogue: Mr. X: Are you staying in Bangalore? Me: (in my mind) Grrr ! I cannot be staying in Abu Dhabi if I have been coming to your office in Bangalore since the past 3 days!!! (aloud) Oh Ya! Indiranagar. Mr X: Own house or rented? Me: (in the mind) Is he mad?? Oh! Seems he was asking me if I stay in Bangalore (aloud) Oh! I meant I am currently staying in Bangalore but I am not a native. Mr X: Oh! So you are a native of? Me: aa…. (thinking) … I am from the Bombay Practice of KPMG Mr X: So, you are originally from Bombay? Me: (in mind) Grrrr … I hate this confusion (aloud) No actually I am a native of Bhopal Mr X: But you are a Maharashtrian, right? Me: (in mind) Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr …. I hate this even more … (aloud, smiling) Ya! Actually ancestrally our family belongs to Maharashtra. But both my parents were born an brought up in MP – and so am I. (smile a

Random Thoughts on the sojourn of life …

Just finished watching "The Terminal" on Star Movies (that confirms I am not in Mumbai and am in some hotel where I get TV J). Steven Spielberg, Tam Hanks, Catherine Zeta Jones - the best combination of direction, performance and beauty - along with a very unique, interesting and classic story make the movie worth more than one watch. This was my second time. I could better identify with the movie this time, as I have been in the transitory mode for the past 3 weeks now, just like the major characters in this movie. For the uninitiated, I left Mumbai on the April 3 for Chennai; returned to Mumbai at 12:30 AM on April, 13 and left for Pune (on a personal trip), before the sun rose on April 14. If I include the amount of time spent in a car into my travel time, then between April 13 and April 17, I spent more time traveling than what I spent sleeping on a bed! This includes time spent coming back to Mumbai on the night of April 16 and leaving for Bangalore by the 6.30 flight ne