Friday, November 28, 2008

Mumbai Terror Attack: Further Evidence of the Anglo-American-Mossad-RSS Nexus

I only have pity for those who cannot see reality and who were so glib to buy into what the media and political troubleshooters were saying about the Mumbai terrorist attacks.

Consider this:

As a BBC report notes, at least some of the Mumbai attackers were not Indian and certainly not Muslim. Pappu Mishra, a cafe proprietor at the gothic Victorian Chattrapati Shivaji Terminus railway station, described "two sprightly young men dressed in black" with AK47s who were "foreign looking, fair skinned." Gaffar Abdul Amir, an Iraqi tourist from Baghdad, saw at least two men who started the firing outside the Leopold Cafe. "They did not look Indian, they looked foreign. One of them, I thought, had blonde hair. The other had a punkish hairstyle. They were neatly dressed," Amir told the BBC.

According to Andrew G. Marshall, the ISI "has long been referred to as Pakistan's 'secret government' or 'shadow state.' Its long-standing ties and reliance upon American and British intelligence have not let up; therefore actions taken by the ISI should be viewed in the context of being a Central Asian outpost of Anglo-American covert intelligence operations. The presence of foreign looking, fair skinned commandos who calmly gunned down dozens of people after drinking a few beers indicates that the Mumbai attacks were likely the work of the Anglo-American covert intelligence operatives, not indigenous Indian Muslims or for that matter Arab al-Qaeda terrorists. The attacks prepare the ground for the break-up of Pakistan and the furtherance of destabilizing terrorism in the Middle East and Asia. The Mumbai attacks had little to do with India or the relationship between Muslim Pakistanis and Hindu Indians. Pakistan’s position as a strategic focal point cannot be underestimated. It borders India, Afghanistan, China and Iran," concludes Marshall.

"Destabilizing and ultimately breaking Pakistan up into several countries or regions will naturally spread chaos and destabilization into neighboring countries. This is also true of Iraq on the other side of Iran, as the Anglo-American have undertaken, primarily through Iraq, a strategy of balkanizing the entire Middle East in a new imperial project." (See Marshall's Divide and Conquer: The Anglo-American Imperial Project.)

Andrew Marshall is a respected author; he is clearly saying here that terrorists looked like Anglo-American covert operatives and that the entire Mumbai operation was an attempt by Anglo-American forces to destabilize India and push it further into the Israel-US orbit. Marshall also says that Americans are keen to dismember Pakistan--it is clear that in this project, America needs India as a firm ally--it cannot afford Indo-Pak friendship at least on a long-term basis. The Mumbai attack thus was multi-layered--and one of the reasons could be to warn India that the Anglo-American elite have the power to penetrate India, with the help of its own people. Clearly, the attackers would not have come from the sea route without some kind of a connivance of Gujarat and Maharashtra Governments with the terrorists, and the connivance of RSS type Hindutva elements as I will prove later in the piece.

This afore-mentioned report appeared on the BBC, a news agency which pro-west, Muslim-haters and all NRIs love to see. NOW I ASK THESE PEOPLE: why are you adopting double standards? Now a BBC report is inconvenient because it militates against your idea of what happened in Mumbai?

A second report is even more shocking -- some news channels captured it but then it went off air:

One Police officer who encountered the gunmen as they entered the Jewish Center (Nariman House) said the attackers were white. "I went into the building late last night" he said. "I got a shock because they were white. I was expecting them to look like us. They fired three shots. I fired 10 back".

The Nariman House affair brings the Mossad angle to the fore. Two of the ‘hostages’ killed in the Nariman House were identified as Rabbi Gabreil Holtzberg and his wife Rivka. They ran the center as spokespersons of the Chabad Lubavitch movement.

Now the Chabad movement is one of the many sects within Israel and Judaism. But of late it has come under the Zionist influence. Now what is Zionism? A brief digression would suffice: Zionism is the political ideology of racist Jews, just like Hindutva is the political ideology of a section of `race conscious' Hindus. Just as a majority of Sanatani Hindus have opposed Hindutva, a majority of Jews oppose Zionism and its fascist-anti-religious tone.

In opposition to the teachings of Judaism, the orthodox Jew religion, Zionists want to dominate the world; they see the `Jewish race' as the most important, almost divine, race in the world. Zionists are opposed to democracy and even the concept of nationhood. Zionists believe in creating murder and mayhem as a matter of policy.

In America, Zionists have entered into an alliance with the American elites--the White-Anglo-Saxon Protestant (WASP) forces--which rule America. The reasons for this alliance lie in the way the Zionist agenda matches with that of the American corporate and WASP elite and is beyond the scope of this article.

People who do not understand Zionism will never be able to understand what happened in Mumbai.

Back to members of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement killed at Nariman House --people have asked how come the Rabbi and his wife were killed if Mossad is involved in the Mumbai terror attack?

The answer to this is being forwarded by Jewish anti-Zionist websites. They also detail the sectarian history of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement. A Jew writer mentions the Mossad involvement in Chabad Houses:

The attack on Mumbai spotlights the ultra-orthodox (haredi) Chabad-Lubavitch community and its international outreach network. When Chabad outreach (keruv) started in the 1950s, it seemed rather intellectually dishonest because the organization used nostalgia for a never-existent Jewish past as a hook to enmesh secular or secularized Jews in ultra-orthodox (haredi) practice as hozrim bitshuvah (returnees, sometimes improperly called baalei tshuvah), but on the whole the activity was mostly harmless in contrast with current Chabad activities, which long ago crossed the border into dangerous territory.

As the Lubavitcher organization has become larger and wealthier -- partially because mobilization for keruv has brought large contributions, members have shown a propensity for corruption.

Yet, the Lubavitchers have worked closely with Jewish racists like Lawrence Summers and Alan Dershowitz in the ongoing attempt to control discourse on American campuses. The wealthy Russian Lubavitcher hozer bitshuvah Lev Leviev openly supports Zionist terrorism and settlement building in the Palestinian occupied territories. Possibly because of Leviev Chabad-Lubavitch has openly become involved in Putin's struggles with Russian Jewish oligarchs.

Still, there is an even more sinister aspect to the Lubavitcher organization.
Because Lubavitcher outreach offices are located in some of the most important political, corporate and university centers throughout the world, the Lubavitchers have put together a network that is incomparable for corporate and international espionage as well as for the secret exchange of information. Because Chabad Houses could potentially act as safe houses, where there would be no record of a person's stay.

Most people do not take the Lubavitchers seriously, but I have visited Chabad houses and encountered senior Israeli government or military officials (and probably intelligence agents). One can easily imagine that Neocon intelligentsia trying to develop a relationship with Hindutva (???) intelligentsia or politicians might have used the Chabad Nariman House as a meeting place.

Here a Jew is saying that he has visited Chabad houses and that he has seen covert operations going on and the involvement of senior Government and military officials of Israel. This Jew writer is also talking openly about a Neo-Con-Chabad-Hindutva tie-up!

Because the Lubavitchers provide an unconditional welcome to all Jews in the hope of bringing them closer to the Lubavitcher way of life, the Lubavitchers have been open to potential subversion by Israeli intelligence organizations. Mossad and Shin Bet found it quite easy to penetrate the haredi community during the Yossele Affair. Jewish politics has often involved infiltration and subversion of one political group by another. The David Project Israel Advocacy organization has used its educational programs as a means to infiltrate more mainstream Jewish communal organizations with radical Islamophobes and Jabotinskian Zionists.

To Zionize haredi groups that practice outreach, the Israeli government need only give encouragement to Zionistically indoctrinated Hebrew-speaking young people to participate in outreach programs, and in a few years the targeted haredi community is thoroughly enmeshed in Zionist thinking while Israeli intelligence organizations have a new crop of sayanim in place ready to serve in Zionist covert operations.

What is a sayanim? Go to the link and it states that "Sayanim (Hebrew: "helpers") is a term used to describe Jews living outside Israel who volunteer to provide assistance to the Mossad.[1] This assistance includes facilitating medical care, money, logistics, and even overt intelligence gathering, yet sayanim are only paid for their expenses. No official number is known, but estimates put the number of sayanim in the thousands. The existence of this large body of volunteers is one reason why the Mossad operates with fewer case officers than fellow intelligence agencies"

Now back to the link from which I was quoting the Jewish writer originally. He says that the Lubavitcher shluchim (outreach emissaries) Gabriel Noach and Rivka Holtzberg fit the `sayanim' profile to a "T" -- especially Rivkah.

So the two people killed in Nariman House fit the Sayanim, which is Jews outside Israel who volunteer to provide assistance to Mossad, profile!


The Jewish writer of the afore-mentioned link himself asks the question: WOULD MOSSAD HAVE KILLED THE RABBI AND HIS WIFE IN NARIMAN HOUSE?

Zionists have always used dead Jews to build sympathy for Zionist goals and as cover for Zionist crimes against humanity.

Ben-Gurion explicitly stated that he would sacrifice German Jewish children for the sake of Zionism while the Zionist leadership probably learned the benefit of sacrificing Zionist operatives from the 1946 Kielce Pogrom. In this incident (Jewish) Soviet and Zionist agents probably worked together to make sure that surviving Polish Jews chose emigration to Palestine over a return to Poland.
Because the Kielce Zionist recruiters were killed during the pogrom, the events leading up to the pogrom was rendered forever unobtainable.

Some reports of the Mumbai attack indicate that the Holtzbergs rented space to the attack planners over the past few months and thereby helped make the operation far more effective.

An opportunity to interrogate the Holtzbergs would have helped investigators immensely.


Another piece of massive evidence: In a telephone interview with CBC News from outside the Center (Nariman House), freelance journalists Arun Asthana said that there are reports that some of the militants had stayed at a guest house there (Nariman House) for up to 15 days before the attack. "They had a huge mass of ammunition, arms and food there", Asthana said.

Now other reports have also confirmed that a huge mass of food was ordered by the residents of the Nariman House. This food was enough for 30-40 people for several days. Why was this amount of food ordered? Also why was Nariman House not assaulted till the very last? A Gujarati Hindu resident of Mumbai came onto TV on CNN-IBN to say at around 3.30 AM or so, that for two months suspicious activities were going in Nariman House. A lot of foreigners were seen coming in and going out. This matter was reported to the Police. But no one took action.

The CNN-IBN did not repeat the news; then it was only when the common people of Mumbai threatened to storm the Nariman House the NSG commandos were moved in--why this delay in assaulting Nariman House when only two terrorists were holed in there?
This is sheer official complicity and nothing else -- AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE WHOLE NARIMAN HOUSE AFFAIR IS A MUST.

Then it was reported that “somehow surprising to learn that the terrorists in Cama hospital in Mumbai were fluently speaking Marathi. The terrorists who are said to have fired in Cama hospital talked to an employee clad in civil dress in Marathi, reports a Marathi daily 'Maharashtra Times'.

The newspaper said the terrorists who targeted ATS chief Hemant Karkare, police commissioner Ashok Kamte and encounter specialist Vijay Salaskar were speaking Marathi fluently.

The newspaper claims the terrorists having fired at two watchmen in uniform asked the other beside them on gunpoint in Marathi, 'You are here an employee?' The employee caught the legs of the terrorist and said, 'I am not working here. My wife has suffered from heart attack and I have come here to admit her.' The terrorist asked him again in Marathi, 'You are speaking true or false?' The employee answered, 'No, by God I am speaking true.'On this the terrorist let him go.

NOW WHAT DO WE MAKE OF THAT? Another report says that traditional Jews of Mumbai who have migrated to Israel speak fluent Marathi and are known to have been recruited by Mossad!

The death of Hemant Karkare remains a mystery. All official versions are contradictory: some say he was killed near CST, some that he died near Cama hospital, some near Metro cinema, and some that he was killed while in a Police jeep. Also, where did the bullet hit him? Some say on the neck and some near the heart. Karkare was shown on TV wearing a bullet proof vest--he could not have been shot in neck in that case, unless there was a sniper waiting for him.
Also if he was shot near heart, then when did he take out his vest? No one has even bothered to answer this question. Also, another facet is coming to light: that Karkare was killed near Cama--but Kaamte and Salaskar in the Metro shootout!

Intelligent people--what do you have to say now? It is becoming obvious that...

1. Several terrorists might have been white?

2. Were they International mercenaries? If yes, then from which country? Who collected them? It is well known that Mossad and CIA have several mercenary organizations, including so-called Jihadi ones on their list. They create Jihad and manipulate Muslims disaffected by the Islamophobia in the world. Some of them might have been used in the Mumbai attack. But why were they carrying American, British, Mauritian and Malaysian passports?

3. Who were the Marathi speaking Karkare killers? The lane next to the Cama Hospital is a deserted one--it goes straight to the backyard of the Mumbai CID Headquarters. Anonymous sources in the Police have revealed that Karkare was taken there, by a joint team of anti-Karkare, pro-Hindutva Mumbai Police officers, and Chota Rajan men. Now Karkare was opposed to Chota Rajan. Salaskar was anti-Pradeep Sharma, another Mumbai senior Police officer now in jail, for working as Rajan's shooter. So the Marathi speaking terrorists could either have been Jews with some connection to Mumbai--or hired killers of the Hindutva brigade or men of Chota Rajan.

4. It seems that several things went on simultaneously--the Mahrashtra Chief Minister Vilas Rao Deshmukh was in Kerala when the Mumbai attack began at 9.30 PM on 26th November. Then by 11PM Deshmukh had informed the Home Minister Shivraj Patil--the latter had started proceedings to send the NSG Commandos. So Deshmukh knew about what was happening by 11PM--then why was there no Mumbai Police on various locations between 9.30 and 1am, the time when Karkare arrived? The Mumbai ATS is a separate organization. It does not lead the Mumbai Police. So the 40,000 strong Mumbai Police was absent from the scene of action between 11pm to 1am and then Karkare arrived and he was killed along with his men!

Isn't there something fishy here? Obviously the Mumbai Police was kept deliberately away between 11pm and 1am, the time period when terrorists were killing people merrily. Then Karkare must have been told--and he went there expecting Mumbai police personals to be there--but there were none or only a few! And he was killed!

Thursday, November 27, 2008


According to an exposé in a national daily published from Madhya Pradesh and several other cities, in the aftermath of the arrests of Sadhu, Sadhvi, and other extremist Hindutvadis as involved in the Malegaon bomb blast, Intelligence agencies are now concentrating on foreign connections of the radical Hindutvadis.

In a special report published by the daily, it has exposed this sensational news that in central intelligence agencies are to be believed, extremist Hindutvadis have got support and motivation from Israeli secret agency, Mossad's operations against the Arab and Muslim countries in the past.

The newspaper writes that relations between Mossad and CIA are world known. Report mentions that intelligence agencies are worried about the infiltration of Mossad and CIA in the country. According to undisclosed sources, Indian intelligence agencies are now examining the full details of the visit of Israel's religious leaders to India and their meetings with Sadhus and Sanths. Intelligence agencies are investigating all those Hindu and Muslim leaders that the Israeli religious delegation had met.

The newspaper reports that it was during the rule of BJP's Atal Bihari Vajpayee that a beginning was made for the visits of Hindutvadis, and especially Sadhus and dharma gurus of the Sangh Parivar to Israel. It was during Vajpayee's time that the visits to Israel and consequently the relations and contacts of Sangh Parivar Dharma gurus and Hindutva leaders with Israel increased manifold.

According to the newspaper, for last ten years, the central intelligence agencies have been closely studying and analyzing the growing strength of Hindutvadi and Sangh Parivar organizations and the increasing violence through these organizations against Muslims, Christians, and minorities in Gujarat, Orissa, Karnataka and other states. Intelligence agencies have disclosed that the visits of Jews and Israeli rabbis was not very frequent in the past, but it has increased to worrisome proportions, during last few years. Of all, the most studied is the February 2007 visit to Delhi of the delegation of Israeli Jewish religious leaders. The delegation was headed by Israel's Chief Rabbi, Yonah Metzger.

In this delegation, Jewish religious leaders from Israel as well as others rabbis from Belgium and Spain too were included. In India, the Israel Jewish religious delegation met important Hindutva leaders, which included especially the RSS Chief K. S. Sudharshan, President of VHP, Ashok Singhal, VHP leader Vishnu Hari Dalmia.

After the meeting of the Sadhu Sanths and Jewish leaders, both delegations had issued a common manifesto.

In this meeting, Jewish Rabbis expressed grave concern over the details of the terrorist attacks allegedly carried out by Muslims, as narrated by Hindu dharma gurus. Secret Service sources disclosed that at the invitation of Israeli Jewish religious leaders, a delegation of Hindutva leaders had visited Israel this year. In this, some leaders of Sangh Parivar too were included.

The national daily, in its report has exposed that the officials of the national intelligence agencies have categorically stated that American secret service agency, CIA together with Israel's secret organization Mossad, has carried out several secret operation all over Asia.

And now that the bomb blast of Malegaon and Modasa had involved the names of the fake Shankaracharya Amaranand alias Dayanand Pande, Sadhvi Pragya Thakur, enquiries and investigation of relations between Jewish and Hindutva religious leaders from Israel and India are being severely felt and is being analyzed. This was disclosed by the newspaper report.

Why investigation of Israeli connection with Hindutvadis?

The way ATS has arrested Hindutva extremists belonging to Sangh Parivar, in connection with Malegaon bomb blast, facts have emerged of international networking and support to Hindutva radicals. This has alarmed national intelligence community. India's internal and external intelligence agencies and RAW have got busy trying to figure out if there is some big international conspiracy is being hatched behind the activities of hardline extremists of Sangh Parivar. According to secret sources, back in February 2007, an Israeli delegation headed by Israel's Chief Rabbi, Yonah Metzger, and accompanied by several high ranking Jewish religious leaders, had visited India. This Jewish Religious delegation held meetings with many Sadhus, Sanths and Dharma gurus. The delegation also met some Muslim leaders. Now intelligence agencies have started investigations of the meetings of the Israeli delegation and local Sadhus, Sanths and dharma gurus. It is mentioned that the delegation of Israeli Jewish religious leaders has met leaders and dharma gurus from RSS, Sangh Parivar, VHP and BJP. Lal Krishna Advani had arranged a dinner for the visiting Israeli Jewish religious leaders' delegation and others included in the delegation, at his own residence. According to high official, though the meeting of Sangh Parivar leaders with Israeli delegation is not of undue importance, but the way America's secret service, CIA and Israel's secret agency, Mossad, are infiltrating in Central Asian and South Asian countries, it is giving strength to the suspicions that in such delegations, members of foreign intelligence get included and through interaction and infiltration, secret operations are carried out. Those organizations that organize and support such visits and meetings, may or may not be aware of the secret mission of foreign agencies, the truth can come out only on investigations. For this reason, the national agencies are now concentrating on investigation of Sangh Parivar and its connections with Israeli lobby and Mossad.

Get the Most Out of Your Performance Review

With all the talk of recession you may be less than optimistic about the outcome of your 2008 performance review, but the gloom and doom is all the more reason to follow these ten tips to get the most out of the annual sit down with your supervisor.

As 2008 comes to a close amid a flurry of dreadful economic news, you may be less than excited at the prospect of your upcoming performance review. But unless your company is one of the few listening to calls to drastically overhaul the whole review process, there’s no avoiding a sit down with your boss. How can you use the opportunity to maximize your chances of getting a healthy raise in 2009? This article challenges you to think of the review as a chance to document your value to the company and strengthen your internal brand and offers these tips:

  1. Understand how the system works — Every company is different… You can’t work the system until you know exactly who makes the decisions, when they’re made, and what factors are considered most critical.

  2. Understand your manager’s point of view — Understand what’s keeping him up at night then focus on demonstrating how you make his life easier.

  3. Do your homework — If you haven’t been keeping careful track of your accomplishments this year then now’s the time to start digging up documentation.

  4. Think like a marketer — Understand your customers and demonstrate how your products/services make their lives better…. frame all of your accomplishments to show the tangible benefits for your company and your manager.

  5. Use numbers and examples — Don’t rely on generalities.

  6. Tell a good story — If you don’t have hard numbers, come up with some compelling stories. Did you come up with a creative idea that wowed the CEO? Did you rework a process to save your boss hours every week?

  7. Don’t be defensive —Accept criticism graciously and prepare professional counterpoints if appropriate.

  8. Deliver an “October surprise” — Follow the example of wily politicians and announce a major score right before performance reviews.

  9. Show some attitude – Work shouldn’t be a popularity contest, but never underestimate the value of being likable.

  10. Get creative — If your manager loves you but can’t show you the money, leverage her guilt and goodwill to ask for telecommuting privileges, flexible hours, or extra vacation days.


By Manny Stamatakis

A relationship can be an empowering and inspiring journey of love. This is especially true if both partners are committed to themselves, each other, the relationship, as well as being willing to share their love with the world. They are more likely to have such a whole and healthy relationship if, at first, they are able to express their own unique qualities and know they can live happy and successful lives without each other.

If you are consciously committed to your relationship, your true intention will be to contribute to its growth. And if you are truly devoted to having your relationship work, you will also “rise in love.” Of course, once you’ve chosen your relationship consciously, it would be wise to not only practice rising in love, but also to continue to rise in love.

What does rising in love entail? And what does it actually mean to rise in love? Well, one thing I can tell you for sure is, that it doesn’t mean “falling in love.” Nor, does it seem to correlate very well with the phrase, “madly in love.” In fact, many of the expressions that people use to describe their feelings of love are not especially enlightened ones. Perhaps, you are familiar with some of these common sayings: “I’m crazy about him!” “I’m nuts about her!” “I’m smitten,” “My goose is cooked,” “I’m so in love; I’m falling head over heels for him”... Let’s face it, do any of these statements imply that one is involved in a healthy loving relationship?... It doesn’t sound like it, does it!?

“Falling in love” is a desperate yearning for attention which seems to convey a message to one’s partner that, “I’m falling! Catch me! Save me!” It’s a sense of hopelessly longing for someone who can fill the empty void you are likely experiencing in your life. It can also be a desire to turn your partner into a parental substitute who can take care of you.

Falling in love usually involves possessiveness, compromise, need and obligation. However, when you fall in love and idealize your partner, there is also a tendency to be blind in these circumstances. A relationship based on need, fear of loss or co-dependency reflects a false sense of security. Such conditions do not foster healthy growth in a relationship. If you depend on your partner for happiness, you are inferring that the source of love is outside of yourself. Couples who fall in love in this way, enter what the Course In Miracles refers to as a “special relationship.” Such “special relationships” are based on separation and, of course, are often co-dependent in nature.

Yet, by practicing self-love and raising your self-esteem, a couple can become more self-reliant. Two equally self-sufficient partners, who can freely give and receive unconditional love can enter a “holy relationship” and “rise in love” together. By elevating themselves in this way, a couple will discover that it is much easier to mutually support each other. And it is through this interdependence that the relationship will thrive and continue to grow.

Let go of your fear of loss and the need to possess love. Instead, practice rising in love by expressing yourself in the free spirit of love. Also, give up your need to feel secure about the future and practice being carefree in the moment. For, rising in love is living in the now, appreciating ourselves and each other, and sharing equally in the relationship.

Whereas falling in love is romantic desperation, rising in love is romantic inspiration. Rising in love is empowering, yet not controlling. It is opening up and surrendering to higher levels of love and intimacy in your relationship. Rising in love offers mutual support, a common vision and a freedom to grow together. It is the ultimate in commitment because it offers you the choice to participate instead of feeling impelled to do so.

Couples who rise in love seldom get hooked on the “happy-ever after” myth. So please don’t take your relationship for granted and assume that everything will always be cheery, regardless of your input. Even after you’ve discovered each other, it is important to continue to grow by cultivating the wonderful seeds of love you’ve sown together. Therefore, devote yourselves and your relationship to its ever-evolving personal growth process. The time, consideration and occasional effort you invest in your relationship will certainly prove worthwhile, and, more than likely, also insure its continued success.

Many couples believe that, because they love each other, they don’t need anyone else in their lives. Not only do they insist on their mate always being exclusively available to them, but they often shut out the rest of the world from being a part of their relationship. Sometimes, they even stop seeing their best friends and doing their favorite things.

If this is your tendency, remove the walls that separate you from the rest of the world. Drop your defenses and remove all barriers! You do not have to become insular simply because you’ve bonded intimately as a couple. You can have a great intimate loving relationship with your mate and also maintain wonderful supportive friendships and exciting outside interests with the community at large. In fact, your hobbies and other involvements, providing they are conscious and not manipulative in nature, can be a very stimulating presence in your relationship. Besides, no matter how inspiring your relationship may be, it is vital that each partner has the space to freely express their own uniqueness.

Another important aspect of rising in love is being conscious about not putting your mate up on such a pedestal that you deny the truth or neglect other parts of your life. For instance, if you worship your mate so much that you go into denial about their weaknesses, you are probably protecting them from receiving the kind of productive feedback that could most benefit them. When you idealize your mate like this, you tend to view them as the source of love and make them more important than God.

God is the ultimate source of love. So base your relationship on your faith in God. Doing so will open you up to unlimited love. And this pervasive love will elevate both of you to newer and higher levels of “having it all” in your relationship. As the Course In Miracles says, “Your will and God’s will are the same.” So know that love for your mate and love for God can coexist. When you surrender to God’s love, it’s easier to surrender to the love in your relationship and as you surrender to the spiritual bonding nature of love in your relationship, you will also enter into a holy relationship with the world around you.

So surrender to God. Surrender into the love. Accept love. Trust in the love. Feel love. Be in love. Look for the love. Practice being love. Embody love. Radiate love. And as you rise in love, envision what you want to create together for your relationship. For, in focusing on your vision until it becomes a reality, you will keep the dream alive and elevate yourselves to another level.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Six Machines That Changed The Music World

Ever since Sam Phillips stuffed some wads of paper into an amplifier, inadvertently creating the fuzzed-up, overdriven electric guitar sound on Ike Turner's 1951 rave-up "Rocket 88," pop musicians and producers have turned happy accidents into great records. But the history of house and techno, in particular, is underpinned with fits of serendipity and creative perversions of recording technology.

In the early '80s, Detroit techno pioneers like Juan Atkins and Derrick May - inspired in part by club DJs who'd begun using turntables as instruments, and limited by a profound lack of expendable dough - began picking up secondhand analog drum machines and keyboards that had been dumped by musicians who thought the equipment sounded too mechanical. Atkins & Co. were able to create techno music with these seemingly clunky tools precisely because they didn't want machines that sounded like human drummers. "For some, I guess, 'synthesize' means 'duplicate,'" Atkins says. "But for me, 'synthesize' is synonymous with 'create.'" The gear that Atkins and others used is the pulse of modern electronic dance music. The Roland TB-303 Bass Line is a bit like the Forrest Gump of all things electronica, its muddy squelch having been present, like a comedic cameo, in the mix of nearly every key mutation of house, techno, big beat, and jungle. What follows is a history of the 303, the 808, and a few other marvelous dumb-bots, as well as a look at the accidents and ecstatic noise that have emerged from the crossfire between technology and harebrained human creativity.

The Mutant

ROLAND TB-303 synthesizer

In 1982, the Japanese corporation Roland introduced the TB-303 Bass Line. Company engineers designed the synthesizer to be used by musicians for recording demos, or rough sketches of songs, which could be played for music-industry executives, then later redone with "real" instruments - presumably after the songwriter had landed a lucrative contract. Roland also envisioned the box as a rehearsal device for electric guitarists who found themselves without flesh-and-blood bassists. The 303, however, sounded nothing like an actual bass guitar. American musicians, disappointed with its two-dimensional, mechanical sound, began selling their slightly used 303s to pawnshops, and by 1985 Roland ceased production.

But the TB-303 was reborn as a much stranger beast that year: Earl "Spanky" Smith picked up a 303 in a Chicago secondhand music store and took it back to his place, where his musical partner, Nathaniel Jones, tinkered with the box. Jones, who was beginning to DJ under the name Pierre, played with a row of knobs - Resonance, Decay, and Cut Off Freq - for adjusting the bassline; the controls were meant to be set, then left alone during recording or rehearsal. But Pierre programmed a bassline, hit the Run button, then cranked each of the knobs to its upper limit as the bassline was playing back. The 303 reacted with a piercing, almost obscene screech.

"Spanky was saying, 'Keep doing it, keep doing it!'" Pierre remembers. "It wasn't meant to squeak and squeal and all that kinda stuff. We just knew it sounded weird and energetic and funky. We thought, 'Wow, this thing is really a jolt of lightning!' So we taped it and took the tape to [legendary DJ] Ron Hardy's place, the Music Box. We played it, and by the third time people were going crazy."

Though they didn't know it at the time, by adding the warped, druggy 303 sound to then-standard club beats, Pierre and Spanky had invented a new genre of dance music: acid house. They dubbed themselves Phuture, then released their 303 experiment as "Acid Trax." That record, as well as other tunes like Sleezy D's "I've Lost Control" and Adonis' "The Poke," were club hits in Chicago; once imported to England, they became salvos in a massive youth cultural movement that begot electronic subgenre after subgenre. "One of my friends used to live on a mushroom farm," says the Chemical Brothers' Tom Rowlands, "and he had this shed at the back of his garden. We used to sit in there playing a 303 - that was my idea of a perfect afternoon." The box, which can be made to emit everything from wet squeals to bird chirps and peeps, reached the top of the American Billboard charts in 1997 via Prodigy's The Fat of the Land.

But the TB-303's acid sound had already achieved immortality. The year before, Roland moved to capitalize on the machine's popularity with techno producers by introducing the MC-303 Groovebox, a synthesizer that could simulate the mutant TB-303 Bass Line as well as beats from the TB-909 and TR-808 drum machines. Pierre remains philosophical about his discovery of the sound that launched a thousand 12-inch records.

"When you make music, you just never know what the heck is going to happen. Some mistakes are good - it's just a matter of knowing which ones are good and which aren't."

The Stepchild


After pioneering the manufacture of drum machines, Roland began to lose its competitive edge in the early '80s, particularly when rival Linn introduced the LinnDrum, which featured beats derived from digitally sampled drums. For musicians in pursuit of an authentic sound, the LinnDrum overshadowed analog synthesizers like Roland's TR-808, which seemed mechanical by comparison. But the 808, introduced in 1979 as a tool for high-end professional musicians to record demos (original list price: $1,195), was slowly finding favor with producers of the then-nascent form of music now called hip hop. In 1982, a black Trekker from the South Bronx named Afrika Bambaataa and the downtown producer Arthur Baker used an 808 to record the intergalactically funky "Planet Rock," perhaps the single most influential track in the history of hip hop, techno, and electro music.

But Roland wasn't listening. It had already ceased production of the machine, even as Chicago DJs like Jesse Saunders picked up 808s secondhand and began using the box in an ingenious way: They "played" it live, like an electric guitar or any other old-fashioned instrument. Saunders employed the 808 as the unifying thump of his marathon 6- to 12-hour sets at the Playground club (which typically included "Planet Rock" and tunes by the B-52's). This was the dawn of house music, yet the TR-808 would play an even more crucial role in techno, especially after trailblazers like Juan Atkins embraced the little black box. Years later, electronic innovators were still name-checking the device. In 1988, a British group that helped define ambient techno named itself 808 State; in 1997, breakbeat scientist Optical redefined dark drum and bass with his sinister, sternum-rattling "Moving 808's" single. But many techno musicians were, and still are, drawn to the internal imperfections of the 808, to everything it wasn't, instead of everything Roland had wanted it to be.

"The 808 and the TR-909 [another key drum machine] both had what I'd call a certain 'slip' to them," explains second-wave Detroit techno pacesetter Richie Hawtin, also known as Plastikman. "They didn't lock at a certain exact tempo. Even when the tempo meter read 130 beats a minute, it only said that because there were just three digits in the counter. That timing slip gives those 808s a certain groove. You can actually open up an 808 and there's some extra knobs inside, so you can detune the box. You'll get lower tones, slightly snappier snares. These little knobs were manually set at the factory, so every 808 is completely different. My track, 'Spastik,' is basically just an 808. It's the most well-balanced track I've produced yet. And it's annihilated everybody who's ever heard it."

The Workhorse


"The Technics 1200 is the only turntable," says Moby. "That's where all the samples come from." Techno music's man of the hour is merely stating the worst-kept secret in electronic music. Since its introduction to the home stereo market almost 30 years ago, the Technics SL-1200 has been the tool of choice for professional DJs as well as sampling musicians. The deck has endured because it's built like a tank: Made of steel and diecast aluminum, it weighs in at 27 pounds, and has incredible rotational stability and a very long service life.

Technics began selling the SL-1200 in 1973, and New York-based proto-hip hop DJs like Grand Wizard Theodore and Afrika Bambaataa almost immediately began to creatively misuse the decks. They invented scratching when they found that the motor would continue to spin at the correct rpm even if the DJ wiggled the record back and forth on the platter.

But turntablists and beatheads are still finding new ways to hack the SL-1200. Influenced by the hyperspeed mixing techniques of techno DJs like Jeff Mills, Detroit ghetto tech DJs like Disco D (real name Dave Shayman) sling together short blasts of Miami bass, drum and bass, and "booty" records with surreally filthy lyrics, playing every track at impossibly fast speeds. Disco D routinely opens up the turntable, adjusts a little-known small blue knob in the rear right corner of the deck, then reassembles the machine, which is then capable of spinning records up to 14 percent faster than they were meant to be played.

"Some people say you can never get a 1200 back to normal after you've adjusted it that way," explains Disco D. "Actually, I've run into problems with promoters who aren't so happy I've done that to their turntables. But I specify right there in my booking contract that that's what I do. If you want me to play, I'm gonna have to mess up the turntables."

The Screamers


In the sacred AI text Gödel, Escher, Bach, Douglas Hofstadter uses dialog between a tortoise and Achilles as a metaphorical device to explain mathematical concepts. In one of these, the tortoise invents a record that is unplayable because it is composed of sounds that will cause a turntable to vibrate and shake so violently that it shatters into a hundred pieces. Detroit techno legend Derrick May has never read Gödel, Escher, Bach, but in 1995, he one-upped the tortoise. He created a tune that was so dissonant it could not be made into a record.

In 1995, the Swedish company Clavia introduced the Nord Lead 1 keyboard, which used digital signal processors to emulate analog synthesis and give the instrument "the warmth and richness of the traditional analog sound." Ironically though, when May used the synth in combination with actual analog recording gear, he produced sounds that traditionally give recording engineers migraines.

May was making a song called "To Be or Not to Be" for the soundtrack of a PlayStation videogame called Ghost in the Shell. His setup included the Nord Lead 1 and an Amek System 9098 outboard equalization module, a device that producers typically use to attenuate, emphasize, or otherwise pump up selected frequencies in the audio spectrum. May went a little further: Intent on creating a whooshing effect known as phasing, he jacked up the amplitude of a few selected audio signals so high that they fell out of synchronization with the other sounds. The resulting tape could not be transformed into a master, the original recording that is necessary to manufacture a vinyl record.

"They couldn't do it because at one point the track was so out of phase, it would cause the mastering needle to burn out," May says. "And those needles cost $400 or $500 a pop. So I got a call from the guys at the plant in Belgium saying, 'Look, we gotta compress it, because you did so many crazy-ass things.'" Compression, a method of sound signal processing and readjustment, tamed the wilder tones of "To Be or Not to Be" so it could be included on Innovator, a compilation of May's work. But he insists that his original version is exponentially more mind-blowing.

"I actually prefer to master all my music onto a reel-to-reel tape deck," he says. "With today's technology, everybody's using some form of software to master records, which is limiting them - the program logic says, 'These sounds are wrong.' That means that no matter how radical you may be, if you don't record within the set boundaries, fuck it, you can't do it. So there's this invisible law in technology that's policing our music."

The Transformer


Sampling technology has been as essential to electronic music as Stratocaster guitars have been to rock 'n' roll, but one machine, the Akai S950, has played a particularly crucial role. German producer Atom Heart used an S950 when he recorded "Cosmic Love" - the blueprint for trance music - with techno duo Resistance D in 1992. In 1993, a new Akai S950 lit up the life of Josh Davis, a kid from California, who would soon be known as DJ Shadow. He used the console to perfect a method of blending one sample into the next, instead of neatly placing them side-by-side, which leaves a split second of digital blank space in the mix - but one that's audible to the trained ear. Shadow's approach, later displayed in the track "Midnight in a Perfect World," from his groundbreaking Endtroducing ..., gave his downbeat aural collages an organic feel and kick-started the electronic subgenre thereafter known as trip hop.

But the S950 was also the infernal device responsible for a happy accident during the 1995 recording of a lesser-known, slightly sinister tune called "Don't Laugh" by the Philadelphia DJ Josh Wink. It happened after Wink pulled a long weekend of late-night club sets and went into his studio to start recording.

"I'd had three hours of sleep in three days and been traveling, and I was so head-screwed that the only thing I really felt like doing was laughing," Wink explains. "So I sampled myself laughing, then put a simple Roland 303 line over that, and then added a 909 kick-drum sound, open high hat, and a clap. That's basically the track. The accident in the track happened when the sample started changing in pitch. By mistake, I'd hit the value transpose knob on the 950, and all of a sudden the sample got pitched down an octave. I thought, 'Wow, this is cool.' There was just so much tension in there that it made the song pretty eerie. And after the record came out, people started coming up to me and saying, 'Dude, I had the worst trip of my life because of you.'"

Wink, who says he doesn't do drugs, later went on to spur a Roland TB-303 revival with "Higher State of Consciousness," a hymn to the disruptive, earsplitting power of that box. But after "Don't Laugh," he developed a theory about studio mishaps: "Sometimes the best things come about from mistakes. Usually, the 'Oops!' become the 'Ahhhs!'"

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Hiring for emotional intelligence

Making a hire can be a hit-or-miss affair. A promising candidate can turn out to be a disaster, leaving frustrated colleagues and tattered client relationships in his wake. To increase their chances of making good hiring decisions, many companies subject candidates to an extended battery of interviews. But, according to Adele B. Lynn, author of The EQ Interview: Finding Employees with High Emotional Intelligence and founder of the Adele Lynn Leadership Group (Belle Vernon, Pennsylvania), conducting more interviews is not really the answer. What’s needed are interviews that take a measure of candidates’ emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence—EQ for short—“accounts for anywhere from 24 percent to 69 percent of performance success,” says Lynn. For managers it is crucial, as it is for anyone who needs to be adept at the give-and-take of working as part of a creative, dynamic team.

There are multiple aspects to emotional intelligence, but homing in on these three in the interview process will go a long way toward identifying candidates with high EQ:

1. SELF-AWARENESS AND SELF-REGULATION. Anyone working in an organization needs to recognize his moods, his emotions, and the deeper emotional needs that drive him and how they shape his behavior.

An emotionally intelligent person is able to regulate her moods. When anxious or fearful, she is self-aware enough to recognize that she tends to broadcast these emotions nonverbally, allowing her to put extra effort into projecting calm optimism. When angry, she has the self-control not to rage at her colleagues or direct reports.

To assess a candidate’s self-awareness and ability to self-regulate, ask these questions, which, like the other questions in this article, are adapted from Lynn’s book:
  • Can you tell me about a time when your mood affected your performance, either negatively or positively?
  • Tell me about a conflict you had with a peer, direct report or boss—how did it start and how did it get resolved?
  • A manager has to maintain a productive, positive tone even when she’s anxious about a business threat. How have you been able to do this in previous positions?
2. READING OTHERS AND RECOGNIZING THE IMPACT OF HIS BEHAVIOR ON THEM. Because so much of a manager’s work is accomplished with and through others, the ability to read other people’s emotions and discern their opinions can spell the difference between success and failure. High-EQ individuals are deft persuaders and motivators because they can read others’ cues and adjust their own words and behaviors accordingly.

To assess a candidate’s skill level in this aspect of emotional intelligence, ask questions such as:
  • Tell me about a time when you did or said something that had a negative impact on a customer, peer or direct report. How did you know the impact was negative?
  • Have you ever been in a business situation where you thought you needed to adjust your behavior? How did you know and what did you do?
In one interview Lynn participated in, “the candidate gave a few examples of when he had a negative impact on someone, but in each case, he said someone called him aside and told him where he fell short—he didn’t seem able to recognize these things on his own.” In contrast, says Lynn, “another candidate for the same position pointed to very specific examples of when he was able to read another’s body language and behavior that indicated that something was wrong.” The second candidate landed the job.

3. THE ABILITY TO LEARN FROM MISTAKES. Missteps and outright failure offer opportunities for growth and high-EQ individuals are able to learn from them. Here again, look for positive patterns in candidates’ past experiences:
  • Have you ever been in a situation where you felt you needed to modify or change your behavior? How did you know?
  • Tell me about a situation when you discovered that you were on the wrong course. How did you know? What did you do? What, if anything, did you learn from the experience?
Lynn was part of an interview team for an information technology position. When asked to describe her work on a project that faltered, the first candidate spoke of a systems overhaul that missed key deadlines and required several course corrections. The candidate said that she should have documented expectations at the outset and communicated more precisely and consistently with users. She concluded by saying that she had thought a lot about what went right and wrong and how she could be more effective the next time she was called on to contribute to such a project.

Contrast the self-awareness in her answer with the defensiveness and rigidity in another candidate’s response. When asked about conflicts she had experienced, she ticked off several examples: a schedule delay, a customer dispute, a delayed product launch. In each instance, she portrayed herself as a victim of incompetent colleagues, unreasonable customers and unlucky circumstances.

Her ability to learn and progress was about zero—an ominous sign for her future performance.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Physical Size Does Not Guarantee Success; What Matters Is Mental Size

When Subroto Bagchi and nine other colleagues launched Mindtree Consulting in 1999, he believed he had two responsibilities. The first was to build the company as a global IT and R&D services firm. The second was to document his entrepreneurial experience, not with 20-20 hindsight -- as many businesspeople do -- but as it unfolded. Bagchi, who is the chief operating officer of Mindtree Consulting, has turned that journal into a book titled, The High-Performance Entrepreneur: Golden Rules for Success in Today's World. Mindtree Consulting is headquartered in Bangalore, and when it went public on the Bombay Stock Exchange in February 2007, its stock offering was oversubscribed more than 100 times. Investors offered more than $5 billion for an IPO whose goal was to raise some $50 million.

In his book,The High Performance Entrepreneur: Golden Rules for Success in Today's World, Bagchi discusses the challenges entrepreneurs face in building their ventures. These range from competing with larger competitors to setting in motion the right processes for growth.

Subroto Bagchi makes some lovely points on what it takes to build an organization. Frankly in my view, it's the 'soul of the enterprise' that makes all the difference.Everything else is replacable. Business will follow if you cultivate the right culture. Ask yourself this question- Does your enterprise have a soul? Surely, your customers will know it, everytime your employees interact with them. May be you can start by asking them first. Be ready for a lot of suprises!

If you then want to go back to the drawing board, you can start thinking with Subroto's advice:

  • Being big is not about size, but about mindset - Let us imagine that you want to someday build a skyscraper. You have to pre-think what plumbing must go into the skyscraper. It cannot be an afterthought.So you have to pretend that, "I am a skyscraper." The inlet and outlet for the skyscraper is going to be very different. So pretending [or imagining] is a very, very important thing.
  • Countries like Singapore, or Israel, or Finland, are world leaders in many ways. These are developed countries. These countries are at the top-end of GDP. But they are so tiny. They're microscopic when you compare them to countries like India or Pakistan. Many of the African countries are significantly larger. In today's world, physical size does not guarantee success. What is important is mental size. Nokia was created out of Finland. Singapore's GDP is way bigger than the GDP of India, and ... the population of Singapore is half the population of Bangalore.
  • Process to Empathy Ratio(PE Ratio)- Process is not a substitute for building an emotionally rich organization. Process without emotion can quickly bring you down to the lowest common denominator.
  • Inventive Thinking -When you look at building an organization, yes, the first idea is important, but an organization is built only as an idea of ideas. Sometimes people fail because they don't take a long view of time. Sometimes they fail because they do not adapt. I think adaptability is very important.
  • Create the right organization infrastructure - An organization, an enterprise, is about infrastructure.We have to continuously build infrastructure.Many companies do a good job of building the physical infrastructure. Some companies even do a good job of building the intellectual infrastructure. But above these two layers is what I call the emotional infrastructure. This is the most difficult - the most difficult to build and the most difficult to sustain.In a hyper-competitive world, it is easiest to demolish a company at the physical layer. It's less easy to demolish a company at the intellectual layer. But it is the most difficult to break a company apart at the emotional layer.
  • Have the right balance - Look at your enterprise as a three-legged stool. One is the employee, one is the customer and the third is the investor. The three have to be balanced at all times. If you try to deliver to the investor at the cost of the employee, or at the cost of the customer, this three-legged stool topples over. So we need to be careful.
These points may seem somewhat out of box, But practicaly they are very true...

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Think Simple

Case 1

When NASA began the launch of astronauts into space, they found out that the pens wouldn't work at zero gravity (ink won't flow down to the writing surface). To solve this problem, it took them one decade and $12 million.

They developed a pen that worked at zero gravity, upside down, underwater,in practically any surface including crystal and in a temperature range from below freezing to over 300 degrees C.

And what did the Russians do...?? They used a pencil.

Case 2

One of the most memorable case studies on Japanese management was the case of the empty soapbox, which happened in one of Japan's biggest cosmetics companies. The company received a complaint that a consumer had bought a soapbox that was empty. Immediately the authorities isolated the problem to the assembly! line, which transported all the packaged boxes of soap to the delivery department. For some reason, one soapbox went through the assembly line empty. Management asked its engineers to solve the problem.Post-haste, the engineers worked hard to devise an X-ray machine with high-resolution monitors manned by two people to watch all the soapboxes that passed through the line to make sure they were not empty. No doubt,they worked hard and they worked fast but they spent a whoopee amount to do so.

But when a rank-and-file employee in a small company was posed with the same problem, he did not get into complications of X-rays, etc., but instead came out with another solution. He bought a strong industrial electric fan and pointed it at the assembly line. He switched the fan on,and as each soapbox passed the fan, it simply blew the empty boxes out of the line.

Moral: Always look for simple solutions. Devise the simplest possible solution that solves the problems. Keep it simpe and studpid (KISS.) Always focus on solutions & not on problems. If you look at what you do not have in life, you don't have anything. If you look at what you have in life, you have everything.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Bhagwat Gita on Work and Motivation

Does the Bhagwat Gita tell us not to care about the fruits of our labour? Or does it offer us the ultimate motivation? Does it teach us everything there is to know about human endeavour, in just two sentences?

Karmanye Vadhikaraste Ma Phaleshu Kadachana,
Ma Karma Phala Hetur Bhurmatey Sangostva Akarmani !

The shlok from the Bhagwat Gita that is often considered the essence of the Holy Book and of the philosophical and spiritual foundation of the Hindu way of life. This Sanskrit shlok is usually translated into Hindi as “karm kar, phal ki icha mat kar” or “karm kar, phal ki chinta mat kar,” which mean “perform your actions and carry out your duty, don’t care or worry about the result.”

I was frequently confronted with this wisdom, and it mystified me each time. Throughout my younger years I struggled with the meaning and philosophy behind these words, not able to understand how a person can motivate himself to work if he does not care about the result. With passing years, some people explained to me that the philosophy really means that we should plan well and work hard, but not care too much about the result. Seemed to be on the right path, but I wasn’t convinced, still trying to make sense of the conundrum of “motivation without goal.”

Then, along came life, which always is the best teacher. The varied experiences and ups and downs of life taught me varied lessons. Just like with everyone else, there were setbacks and bounce-backs. There were failures and successes. There were threats and there were opportunities.

There were times when I could understand the meaning of the song;

“Jindagi kya hai, koyi na jaane,
Jo jaane woh pachtaye.”

(What is life, no one knows,
The one who knows, regrets)

And then there were times when I stood with my arms stretched out, my face raised to the sun, eyes closed, smelling the fragrance of the flowers and listening to chirping of the birds, reveling in the beauty that life is!

With time, life taught me valuable lessons.

It taught me that there are reasons behind most events in our lives. We may not be able to see them at the time of setback because we have become emotional, but time will reveal it, in its own time….

It taught me that every failure opens doors to bigger opportunities. That this is not just an idiom which has become the worst-offender in clichés, but an actual truth. I learnt that what seems like a major failure today, will be followed by a much bigger opportunity. What appears a set-back today may turn to be a boon tomorrow. E.g. being passed over for a promotion today may not be set-back but a boon, because that would make you look out for bigger opportunities and land you a much bigger position. It’s upto us if we have the maturity to let-go of the grief of the failure and start looking out for further opportunities.

It taught me that opportunities come to everyone. Success comes to those who can recognize and grasp the opportunities, and then work diligently and smartly towards the goals. Success comes to those who have the ability to get up again and again after every fall. Success comes to those who can stop blaming others for their problems, and can take a dispassionate view of the situation and start thinking in terms of what could I have done differently to achieve my goals.

It taught me that luck does play a role in life, but luck is more akin to coincidence which we turned into achievement. Luck probably approaches everyone, but strikes only those who are helping themselves. I have felt at times, that when I am sincerely striving towards a goal I desperately seek, all the angels in heaven come down to Earth to make it happen - to bring about a series of lucky coincidences that help me get what I want. A concept expressed much more poetically in the movie Om Shanti Om as:

Agar kisi cheez ko dil se chaho,
Toh puri kayanaat use tumse milane mein lag jaati hai.

Life taught me that I need to keep working hard, I need to plan ahead about what I want to achieve and how I want to go about achieving it, but that I should not plan everything, as what happens is often at variance with what we expect, and so we need to be flexible. That I should not plan too much into the future, as the best opportunities creep in unexpectedly.

It taught me that nothing can replace diligence. That I can not let failures and challenges deter me. I have to keep picking myself up after every fall, and strive again, with bigger energy. I have to keep striving towards bigger goals and keep my eyes open as the best opportunities come unexpected.

The biggest lesson I learnt is that success is a function more of attitude, and not just of circumstances. If I keep working diligently, keep striving for bigger goals, keep my eyes open and my attitude positive - results would come by themselves. If not now, then later. If I am faced with a problem or a failure, I need to sit back and view it in the larger scheme of life, in the larger time period of a life-time, maybe in terms of time period of human existence. How many issues are really as important as we make them? How many failures would really impact us tremendously when we analyse their affects over our life time? Which failure is so big that we can not pick ourselves up again? How many relationships we ruin just because we over-emphasise our short-term needs and irritants? Life taught me that I need to be able to analyse seemingly negative events, in terms of their potential long-term affect of my life-time and evaluate if they are really significant enough to make a fuss over them. Almost always, they are not. And then I am able to find better solutions for issues in life.

It is now that I understand what Krishn meant when he uttered those immortal words:

Karmanye Vadhikaraste Ma Phaleshu Kadachana,
Ma Karma Phala Hetur Bhurmatey Sangostva Akarmani !

He is not saying, “karm kar, phal ki icha mat kar;”

He is saying, “karm kar, phal se aasakti mat kar;”

These are two very different meanings. “Aasakti” means attachment. What Krishn is saying is that we should strive hard in carrying out our duties, that we should want the goal and work towards achieving it, but we should not get emotionally attached to it, to the fruits of our labour. We should neither get too disappointed with a failure nor too happy with a success. Because events, successes and failures are all temporary – here today, gone tomorrow. Aasakti or attachment only bring sorrow in case of failures or elation in case of success, and both prevent us from forging ahead to newer goals. That neither short-term sorrow nor short-term elation have any meaning in the long-term analysis of your life.

Once we are able to appreciate this particular concept, then most other concepts which form the basis of the Hindu way of life also become clearer. Whether it’s the concept of the world being illusory (maya) because everything is temporary, or the concept of kismat or bhagya (destiny). The Gita does not say that everything is bhagwan-bharose (as per will of God) as generally opined in India, it actually does say that we make our own destiny, through our karm (our actions)! It goes onto say that our karm defines our lives and our destinies not only in this life, but across various lives and re-births.

But a detailed discussion into that would take me into my belief that religion is only a set of rituals for delivering the teachings of spirituality to the masses; which is why at the very core, all religions teach the same thing – be a good person and love your fellow beings. Which is why the concept of ultimate God is the same in all religions – an eternal omniscient omnipotent energy force that permeates all things and thoughts – God, Allah, Rab, Parmatma (Brahmn), they all have same concepts. But that’s another discussion and I’ll write about that separately.

The Gita is unique in the sense that it places the karm yogi (Yogi through diligent performance of duties) at the same level as the dharm yogi (Yogi through study of religious and spiritual texts, meditation and penance). A karm yogi can also attain moksh through a faithful and diligent performance of his duties on Earth. And that is our motivation for our karm !

Monday, November 10, 2008

Learning Through Relationships

The insights we attain come through the heart. Perhaps the intellect can be a vehicle for enlightenment, but for me and millions of others, the pathway through the heart is the most healing and beautiful way to learn and grow. Relationships with friends and family are filled with learning opportunities. They come in many forms, and could be intellectually discussed for many hours, though there is only one true lesson to learn. We learn to give service unselfishly to our partners or friends and others who may knock on our doors.

True selflessness is demonstrated by enlightened individuals like Mother Teresa. For the largest percentage of the population, this level of service is unattainable and not in our current learning.


Being aware of our thoughts, words and actions is enough in itself to make us feel overwhelmed and throw in the towel. However, as we progress, mindfulness is vital and attainable. Our ego will always be ready to remind us of all the things we need to do for ourselves. How many of these things do we really need to do? How much joy and satisfaction do we draw from them? Serving others is a way of learning some very hard lessons. Service brings out our lack of capacity to give. Partnerships give us so many opportunities to put aside our own personal desires by giving with love to our partners. Serving our partners is not meant to be a mindless duty, but a gift of love through the highest channel available to us, no matter how menial the task may be.


One evening I was discussing with Sonia my response to a letter I had received. Sonia accepted my request for assistance with the reply and worked hard on it. I then made a mindless comment. "Well, I may as well rewrite the whole letter." I spoke without thinking, and the result was hurtful towards someone who had extended to me her love and assistance. Even though we say and do things without any intention to hurt, mindless acts usually do hurt others.


As we serve with love, learning selflessness, we approach God through the pathway of love and forgiveness. Subtle feelings in our heart sing of a new consciousness. Here dawns a new age of light where the unifying power of love washes away the darkness of the past. At this point the small I (the ego) begins to lose its grip over the experience of the soul forever. Freedom is within reach. Personal needs are lovingly and willingly replaced by the needs of others. As the ego loses it hold, there is a feeling of expanded consciousness where our needs are met through service to others and the transient nature of the physical is clear.


Insights come from the deepest level of our beings. We may spend our whole lives, or most of them, focusing on our own perceived needs. At some stage in our growth, we must see that we have experienced most things the world has to offer, yet we are still unfulfilled. The transient nature of the world was never designed to fulfill our inner needs. The greatest servants of mankind knew this and served others.

Dr. Albert Schweitzer, Nobel Peace Prize winner, gave up his personal life around forty years of age to serve humanity. He said the following in an interview in 1947: "Today the task is to get the mass of individuals to reclaim their spiritual heritage and so to regain the privilege they have renounced of thinking as free personalities. They must work themselves out of the condition of spiritual weakness and dependence to which they have brought themselves." You and I must at some point leave this existence. Knowing this, we need to find permanence. Spiritual strength will be found within us when we find the inner light and we see the truth of the world with new eyes; our personal needs based on the physical world are then changed forever. Permanence will only be found in the experience of self (the soul).


In your partnership, or relationships with children and parents, you have a feeling of permanence to a large degree. There is a comfort zone built around denial that this is going to end one day. Oh yes, we say, I know. However, we pay little attention to what must be. Many object that it is morbid to concentrate on such a negative subject. My answer is simple: when we prepare ourselves for what must happen, we find our focus moves to the moment, where we can be absorbed in love. Each moment of life becomes precious. Egotistical behavior, sulking, anger and resentment are replaced with the desire to be in love always, for we don't have time to waste. Arguments resolve quickly, with a deeper caring for the partner's well-being. The precious moments that we have together put life in perspective when we know that life can end at any time.

A question that I ask my friends is, "If you had to leave this earth right now and were unable to say goodbye, what is the most important thing you would wish you could have done before leaving?" Almost always the answer has something to do with expressing love to a dear one. What more can I say?

Remind yourself every day of the impermanent nature of this world, so that it will lose its grip on you. Building your inner life on spiritual values will bring much peace and happiness. Once the well of heart has been reached, nothing else can quench your thirst, because when you serve another soul with love, you serve God.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Lessone In Innovation I Learnt From Hollywood

The movie industry is full of prima donnas, overpaid incompetents and people who talk endlessly just for the pure pleasure of it. Nothing like your industry, is it?

Hollywood, with its glittery red carpet premieres, may not seem to have much in common with banking, health care or auto manufacturing. But I believe it shares a key trait with every large, well-established industry:

For more than a century, every time an important innovation knocked on Hollywood's door, the industry treated it like a homely auditioner—giving it the cold shoulder and trying to show it the door. The movie industry ignored or tried to stave off sound, color, television, home video, computer animation, and digital editing and cinematography before realizing that each revolution would help grow the business, ensure its cultural relevance and expand the creative possibilities.

New ideas always threaten the status quo. Businesspeople worry how they'll affect today's predictable revenue streams. Everyone else worries about how they'll affect their standing in the organization: "Will I be less of an expert when this new tool or technology takes over?"

When innovations arrive in an industry, they split it into three groups: innovators, preservationists and sideline-sitters. The innovators develop, support and find applications for these new ideas. Preservationists seek to preserve the status quo, often battling the innovators. The sideline-sitters simply wait to see how things will pan out.

CIOs, in my experience, can find themselves in all these roles. Sometimes a CIO is an advocate for a new technology or business model; sometimes he's on the sidelines or campaigning to preserve the status quo. The CIO might lead the charge on storage virtualization, watch a standards battle play out or explain to sales why storing company data on a new Web-based application is a bad idea.

Here are the behind-the-scenes stories of three movies that marked turning points in Hollywood's technological history. Each offers lessons for anyone trying to identify or introduce powerful new innovations.

Take one: Embrace risk.

Most cinephiles remember The Jazz Singer, starring Al Jolson, as the 1927 movie that brought synchronized sound to the silver screen. Few recall that others, including Thomas Edison, tried earlier to link the pictures on screen with a sound track. But the technology wasn't good enough—the audio wasn't clear, or it veered out of sync—so most people concluded that movies were meant to be silent forever.

But the Warner brothers were persuaded to explore a new technology developed at AT&T's Bell Labs. The technology, dubbed Vitaphone, was far from perfect. It relied on easily scratched records (new ones had to be shipped to theaters weekly). The projectionist had to be an expert at changing film reels and cueing the record at precisely the right moment. But the technology was just good enough to deliver a thrilling new experience to audiences—especially when Jolson shouted, "You ain't heard nothing yet, folks!"

The Vitaphone technology was eventually replaced by something more reliable. But adopting it catapulted Warner Bros. into the top tier of movie studios. Net profit jumped from $2 million in 1928 to $17 million in 1929, the year the studio received an award at the first Oscar ceremony for helping to introduce talkies.

The lesson: Innovation and smart risk-taking go hand in hand. After everyone concluded that audiences didn't want to watch movies with sound tracks, and that the technology wasn't good enough, the Warner brothers proved the conventional wisdom wrong. Their willingness to take a risk to innovate enriched their business and helped turn the movies into a truly mass medium.

Take two: Pay attention to the customer.

Hollywood studios scrambled in the 1950s to respond to the new medium of television, which delivered free entertainment to American living rooms. Many of the strategies involved offering an experience that couldn't be duplicated at home: movies in 3-D, Smell-o-Vision and Cinerama, which relied on three projectors (and an army of projectionists) to create a panoramic, immersive image on the screen.

One technology that stuck was CinemaScope, developed by 20th Century Fox. It succeeded because Fox's president had been a theater owner and understood how acutely cost-conscious they were. The technology was cheaper and simpler than its competitors (relying primarily on a special projector lens that expanded the image across a wider screen). Fox offered it in two flavors: one with standard monaural sound, and a pricier version with four-channel surround sound. Its first movie to employ the technology was The Robe, a biblical epic starring Richard Burton. Within a year of its release, about half of U.S theaters were equipped to show movies in CinemaScope, and every studio—aside from Paramount—had licensed the technology from Fox.

The lesson: Innovations like Cinerama may have been more dazzling than CinemaScope, but simplicity and low-cost often create an insurmountable market advantage. Understanding the user's mind-set is also crucial.

Take three: Build buy-in.

As he revived his Star Wars franchise, George Lucas decided to explore digitally projecting Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, so the movie's 1,000th showing would look as good as the first. He turned to projectors from Texas Instruments (TI) and Hughes-JVC. Today, almost 100 percent of the digital projectors in U.S. movie theaters rely on technology from TI. The Hughes-JVC projector proved temperamental, but TI also had a better strategy for winning industry buy-in. It held a series of demos at which directors and cinematographers watched movie clips shown with prototype projectors and gave feedback. After each demo, TI improved its digital light processor technology and brought it back for another round.

The lesson: Win stakeholder buy-in before implementing something new. Dropping a technology on users without letting them influence how it works is a recipe for disaster. Today, Hollywood is trying to assess how the Internet and devices like cell phones and the iPod will affect the business. Many are in full preservationist mode, complaining that cinematic spectacles don't look very good on a Saltine-sized screen. Getting behind the right innovations, I'd argue, is what will ensure the industry's continued profitability and survival. And that's not too different from the role a CIO plays in his company.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The business value of Web 2.0

Is it possible for business users to design their own applications? Are Web 2.0 methods and mashups ready for the rigors of enterprise-scale computing?

In recent years, many organizations have become acquainted with the power and agility of service-oriented architecture (SOA), in which enterprise applications are abstracted as flexible, standardized and componentized services available to other systems or applications. Now, as organizations become more service enabled, they are recognizing that a new generation of approaches – often referred to as either “Web 2.0” or “Enterprise 2.0” – can now extend this flexibility and agility seen on the back end to the front end.

Business trends come and go, but innovation never goes out of style. And in today’s fast-evolving business world, if you can’t get a jump on—or at least keep up with—the competition, then you’re in trouble. Ideas and collaboration are the fuel for innovation. And organizations that can tap into and quickly leverage the collective creativity of their employees and customers have greater potential to disrupt the status quo and leapfrog the competition.

In fact, this is exactly what leading companies in many industries and new breeds of user-driven, Web-based, not-for-profit user communities have already done. They’re early adopters of Web 2.0 philosophies and approaches.

Obviously, these organizations aren’t using an Internet replacement or a single groundbreaking new technology. Rather, they’ve created business approaches using a set of philosophies and technologies, known as Web 2.0, to foster innovation and responsiveness to customer and marketplace trends and to simplify communication and collaboration among members of the extended value chain. Web 2.0 approaches can enable organizations to create community value by tapping the collective knowledge of extended teams. And they can enable large companies to more efficiently and effectively market to small customer segments that have specific interests or requirements. Without Web 2.0 approaches, cost constraints may force these companies to broaden their marketing message to appeal to the widest possible audience.

What’s more, Web 2.0 technologies are based on simpler programming models that can help accelerate time to market by improving the usability of enterprise assets. Web 2.0 is about using the Internet creatively, as a platform to foster innovation, speed and simplicity. It’s not about using the Internet to provide isolated information silos designed primarily for posting or researching information, and for completing transactions.