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I haven't written a decent poem since years now. But occasionally I find a poem worth repeating to myself on the net. IF, by Rudyard Kipling was the last one I quoted here. Today, I am quoting another one - "Invictus" by William Ernest Henley - the title means unconquered in Latin. Out of the night that covers me, Black as the pit from pole to pole, I thank whatever gods may be For my unconquerable soul. In the fell clutch of circumstance I have not winced nor cried aloud. Under the bludgeonings of chance My head is bloody, but unbowed. Beyond this place of wrath and tears Looms but the Horror of the shade, And yet the menace of the years Finds and shall find me unafraid. It matters not how strait the gate, How charged with punishments the scroll, I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.

बिजली, सड़क, पानी और Broadband
Power, Transport, Water and Broadband

Just about an year ago Finland declared broadband internet access as a legal right and now BBC has come up with a survey that 80% people in developed world believe that internet access should be a fundamental right. Image Credit: BBC , March 2010. Link to detailed results [PDF] People equate internet to a fundamental right stating its impact on other fundamental rights [Ref: UN Declaration , Articles 18, 19, 26, 27 and 29] such as freedom of thought, conscience, right to speech, opinion and expression, and right to education and full development of personality. The whole concept may look outlandish in the developing world where the basic necessities of food and shelter are still not available to all citizens, but for a large part of the "access enabled" population, the internet is becoming as fundamental to the very existence of modern lifestyle like banking services or water or electricity. For example, check out his conversation which happened late night earlier this week

The real life mirage

The 1936 classic " Gone With the Wind " by Margaret Michelle is known primarily for its depiction of Civil War America and its impeccable laying of the characters. I for myself liked the novel for its depiction of how individuals fall for 'real life mirages'. The protagonist Scarlett O'Hara has a lifelong obsession with Ashley Wilkes who (only) in her perception is one of the most 'manly' individuals - decisive, gallant, and chivalrous. Ashley is the man with whom Scarlett is obsessed. Gentlemanly yet indecisive, he loves Melanie , his cousin and later his wife, but is tormented by an obsession with Scarlett. His failure to deal with his true feelings for Scarlett ruins any chance she has for real happiness with the true love of her life ( Rhett Butler ). Due to her obsession with Ashley, Scarlett keeps ruining her every chance of getting true love from Rhett Butler. It is only towards the end of the novel that Scarlett realizes that she loves Rhett an

How Flickr helps cleartrip sell more travel packages - an online travel portal has started a new section called Small World. The feature showcases select destinations around one's residence or internationally. This a is really novel service - not only users get to 'preview' a holiday location, the approximate travel and lodging expenses are flashed immediately on the screen. Once you click on a chosen destination, you are taken to a detailed view of the destination with a Google Map 'to' the location, a slideshow of photos from the destination, flight and hotel details arranged in 4 boxes on the screen. The flights with their prices are displayed in a calendar format while the hotels can be rearranged by their tariffs and traveler rating using sliders. The Google Map widget also has markers for Sites, Restaurants, shopping destinations and entertainment hot spots. The fun part is that Cleartrip has partnered with Yahoo / Flickr and Lonely Planet - the slideshows showcasing are made using photos from flic

6 years and going strong

This blog was started on the same day 6 years ago - much has transcended over the internet and in my life since then. Blogging came, became a rage and slowly stabilized. The less serious bloggers moved to Facebook and Twitter while the serious (aka professional) blogs have morphed into full fledged content portals. For me sitting at neither end of the spectrum- 7 years and 515 posts later - this place continues to live with increased enthusiasm. Nevertheless over the years, this blog has (I hope!) improved in content - less personal updates and more meaningful posts whether on Socio-Political matters, Technology , Entrepreneurship , Education , Management etc or literary experiments such as Stories and Poems or occasional Philosophical Musings . In fact I have skinned the blog in the new template with an intent to make the site easily surfable and better presented in terms of the variety of content it offers. The blog is also reachable now from a new URL -

A Simple Balance Sheet Example

More than an year ago during an internal Training, my friend (also colleague @ KPMG) Glyn demonstrated a very simple example for 'books of accounts' namely the balance sheet, P/L statement, Daily Cash book etc. I found it the most effective way to teach accounts to someone new. The sheet has remained on my desktop since then. I am putting this sheet on my blog for other's to view. The sheet is publicly shared on Google Docs - many Thanks to Glyn for this sheet ...

Slow Money vs. Fast Money - Part III

The previous two posts [ 1 ] [ 2 ] which detail my analysis of slow and fast money clearly define that services which form the firmware of our society – infrastructure and utilities – those which are used as a public resource are targets for investment of slow money. Also, such investment is secure, usually subject to several controls and needs to be reliable and long term. As a corollary such investments are also conservative in terms of the return, and hence not suitable for profit booking. As a result we often find government or quasi government agencies (such as NGO’s) investing in such services. On the other hand, individual wealth – whether in form of PE / VC funds or in form in direct equity – which is aimed at booking high profits is never invested in such fundamental services. Hence, Banks and Insurance companies - because they form the basic fabric of public financial infrastructure - are also targets of slow money investments. It is for this very reason that Non-Banking Fina

Slow Money vs. Fast Money - Part II

Continued from here It is important that both the country and its citizen grow at reasonably matched pace and growth of one does not outpace the other. If a citizen's standard of living increases faster than that of the economy - s/he would be tempted to migrate to an economy/country which matches his/her standard of living creating a drain (brain drain being one of the manifestations). On the other hand, if the economy outpaces the citizen's personal growth, it may often lead to rise in economic disparities leading to social problems. Since, slow money contributes towards increase in the standard of the economy/country while fast money impacts the standard of individuals, it is imperative that both slow and fast money should coexist in the economy and in the right proportions. Also, fast and slow money should not be interchanged - otherwise it may produce bizzare results. For example: under communism the state insisted on investing slow money into business leading to setting u

Slow Money and Fast Money

I am no economist, so I find the concepts of M1, M2 ... M4 a little tough to understand. However, based on my own thoughts, I have come up with a new kind of money supply classification - that of fast money and slow money (which overlap but are the same as private and public money). Slow Money can be defined as money kept in form of long term reserves and used for projects with long gestation periods having assured but low rate of return. Typically, this is money kept in Fixed Deposits, Savings Bonds or other forms of Government borrowings. Such money is often used by the Government or its agents to build infrastructure or institutional framework for the country. Fast money is typically investor money - invested in ventures with potentially high returns but as much higher risk and with short to medium term return cycle. Such money - as is obvious from its definition - is typically invested in equity or other risky assets like venture capital funds, usually used for ventures whose sust

Life after Marriage

No! This is not a rant! Its just an update on this blog about my life in the past 4 months after my marriage. As expected, life after marriage has been busy marked by weekends spent either traveling to some place or playing host to parents / friends at our newly set up home. Gudi Padwa at Home Travel with my Mom-Dad to Sardar Sarovar Dam In the backdrop - Sardar Sarovar Dam Dad, Divya, Mom In the Valley near Sardar Sarovar My Brother (Abhishek), cousin (Manasi), wife(Divya) and me(Nikhil)! My In-Laws: Mom, Dad, Wife and Sis-in-law (Neha, sitting) Visit to Hanging Gardens Mumbai Visit to Nariman Point Me and Bro - Riding uphill in the trolley at Champaran / Pawagarh near Vadodara Climbing up the last few steps My Brother: While Climbing Down For more photos goto: