Monday, December 29, 2008

New Year resolution

The New Year is just around the corner and I am sure 2008 has been a rather hectic and memorable year as many things had happened globally. A lot had surely happened for me and I am back home for good after spending many years overseas. Now here is my wish list and I am sure you too have a wish list or a new year resolution. Here goes nothing:

1. To look for a new job.

2. To reduce my weight and hence my tummy.

3. To take a vacation with my family this year.

4. To do up my house.

5. To stay cool with my staff at office.

6. To drink plenty of water.

7. To stay away from fried food.

8. To smoke less.

9. To drink less.

10. To unwind and de stress quickly.

I have picked only 10 items that I want to work on and they may seem trivial but I guess I have to start somewhere.

So would you care to share your New Years resolution with me.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Change is a constant

Since change is inevitable, it makes more sense to embrace it than to offer resistance, says Narayani Ganesh



    The year 2009 is being designated as the year of change. In Japan’s ancient capital of Kyoto, Seihan Mori, chief monk at Kiyomizu temple, declared “change” to be the country’s character or “kanji” in the coming year, on the basis of a popular vote. Admitting that the choice was probably inspired by US president-elect Barack Obama’s campaign theme, the monk said that it is also an expression of the people’s wishes to see change in different spheres on the basis of a popular vote. 
    However, has any year been free of change? Could a future year be changeless? Unlikely so. If the universe and everything in it is in motion, and planet earth throbs with life, it’s because there is constant change. If the political process is surviving well or doing badly, the economy is growing or shrinking, markets are thriving or plunging, scientists are discovering new species or adding to the list of extinct or endangered ones, it is because of change. 
    Change is a constant. Even as aging cells in our body die, new ones are taking their place. When all the cells of the body die, would it mean that the body has reached a changeless state? No. We are more than the sum of our cells. The ‘dead’ body continues to play host to micro-organisms whose home it was for long. With decomposition, the body’s constituents reorganize as different states of matter, the molecules merging with the cosmos, only to take another shape, another form — and the cycle continues. Nothing is destroyed forever. It’s there, somewhere, reconfiguring in part or whole, here or there, or just circulating anonymously, but undergoing change, nevertheless. 
    Change is a continuum everywhere and at all times. Change begets change, and so is in perpetual motion. 
    It’s been said that you never step twice into the same river. The flow of water ensures that. It’s constantly changing, just as you are. For, like the flowing river, you too are not the same person. Your body is not the same; neither are your thoughts. Physically, you are undergoing constant change. The thoughts that run through your mind, your observations, perceptions, attitude, everything is as fluid as the water’s flow. The river is not the same and neither are you. 
    When the Japanese monk in Ky
oto announced the popular decision to call the year 2009 the year of change, he added, after some thought: “However, it is the individual who must change.” To qualify this statement, one might say that when we wish for a particular kind of change in an impersonal manner, expecting it to happen through the actions or decisions of others, the chances of it happening are less than if you began working on your self. Rhonda Byrne writing in The Secret, goes a step further. She says just sending out wilful thoughts for that change to take place will make it happen because the thought reverberates through the cosmos, the law of attraction plays out, and the wish is fulfilled. The premise of all these views is that we accept that nothing is unchangeable. 
    An anonymously authored bestseller titled Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation — published 15 
years before Charles Darwin’s On The Origin Of The Species By Means Of Natural Selection — talked of a “law of development” in living creatures whereby “one species transformed into another by external circumstances, in incremental stages, from simple life-forms to complex ones.” In other words, all forms of life are engaged in a continuous process of adaptation to ensure survival. Darwin’s theory of evolution was more specific, attributing the origin of species and their diversification to the manner in which they adapt themselves to the environment in order to survive. This is what climate change experts are saying – that we have to learn to adapt to changing circumstances in order to better face the challenges before us. Theories are not cast in stone either, whether they are of evolutionary biology or political ideology; the process of thinking, debate, experience and expansion of ideas add multiple dimensions to a theory or philosophy, sometimes enriching it and other times replacing it with an entirely new one. 
    Our thoughts are constantly evolving, and the continuity of this process is ensured by constant change. Philosopher J Krishnamurti asked: Is it possible to leave thought and bring about a change outside the field of thought? He was exercised that if all thought occurs only in the mind, is not thought conditioned by the boundaries we set for the mind? Could thought generated in the confines of the mind really be called part of change? According to Krishnamurti, radical change can take place only outside the field of thought, and not within it. He calls as real meditation the state when the mind can leave the field of thought – on seeing the boundaries of the field – with the realization that any change within the field is no change at all. 
    One of the 112 meditation techniques in the Vaigyan Bhairav Sutra is about change, explains Amrit Sadhana at the Osho Ashram in Pune. The sutra goes like this: Change, change, and change. That is, there are three aspects to this technique of meditation. First, watch nature, and enjoy it. The second step is to watch people. Observe. Absorb. The third step is to sit down and watch your self from within. See how you’ve changed; see how you’ve evolved since childhood. Finally, you come to realise that if change is inevitable, it makes more sense to embrace it than to offer resistance. This is what Osho meant when he said: “Dance the change.” 
    Meditation is upheld as a way to find refuge from agitation, to discover the centre-point of absolute tranquility and peace in the midst of tumult, so that even as the continuum of change plays out all around and in you, there is also room for a state of changelessness and utter calm. 
    The changelessness of constant change is like the ‘stillness’ one perceives on observing a top that spins at high velocity. Despite the spinning top sending ripples throughout the universe, the speeding object looks to be absolutely still. As our thoughts churn and all matter or what constitutes them engage in perpetual motion – even as you stir that cup of coffee, unintentionally emulating cosmic stirring – what remains free of change is the changelessness of change.

Article is taken from Times of India Hyderabad Edition dated 28.12.2008

Thursday, December 25, 2008

A Malaysian Christmas



This video is taken from http://www.mycen.com.my/video/malaysian_christmas_hd.html

Monday, December 22, 2008

Season of giving


These houses look lovely right and that was the reason why I couldn't find time to blog as I was busy with work in getting them ready for handing over to the purchasers. I guess it was worth the effort and I am looking forward in the handing over of the keys soon. And before I can relax, it is Christmas holidays and I get to take off only on that day (unlike in some other places). Ha-ha...we are giving away this houses to the rightful owners.... as Christmas gifts....(it's not free you know).

I have a Christmas mass to attend to on 24th midnight and take it easy on 25th December 2008. This is one Christmas that I am at home in Malaysia after a long time, usually I fly in for the Christmas but now I am here and I did enjoy the shopping with my famly.

So I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and Happy New New Year.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Malaysian Christmas Tree


Kuala Lumpur, 18th December 2008: The World's Tallest Christmas Tree. The shadow of the conical Petronas Twin Tower casts itself on the wall of a nearby building. It appeared only for a fleeting moment when sun, photographer and buildings align. Merry Christmas!

This is copied from the net.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Quotes of the Week

"Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word happy would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness. It is far better to take things as they come along with patience and equanimity." --Carl Jung
"Let yourself be silently drawn by the stronger pull of what you really love." --Rumi
"A lie has speed, but truth has endurance." --Edgar J. Mohn

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Feed the blog

Yes it's been awhile since I had updated my blog and I have to say that it has been my fault as for the past week I was so busy with my work. My wife came back from her holidays from India and she flew out from Chennai and I as usual miscalculated her arrival, thinking that the flight would land as per schedule but the Malaysian Airlines landed 15 minutes ahead of schedule and also she cleared the immigration and customs very fast and I was 15 minutes late. By the way the flight landed at 5.15 a.m. instead of 5.30 a.m. and I was at the airport at 6.10 a.m. So am I to be blamed?

Well since she is back, the home front seems to be in order now but my work front is crazy. I was promoted minus the pay increment and now I have double the work load. Oh...God how I wish the last interview that I had gone to should materialize and I then I can kiss goodbye to this present company. Everyday I am runnng in circles trying to get things done and I don't have the right people nor the "people" in the first place. And I have datelines set like "yesterday" to get things done today.

Tomorrow is a holiday due to "Hari Raya Haji", the muslim festival of sacrifice but it looks like I have to sacrifice my holiday and be at my site office tomorrow to prepare for my meeting with the sub-contractors on Tuesday. So I guess I am the lamb that is being sacrificed at the altar.

Feeding the blog with my problems is not a good option but I have turned into a zombie, from the moment I wake up, walk, talk and eat "work" as the new management that took over the company is driving us with a whip and the "bloody" economy is not helping me as I know getting another job with the same pay is nearly impossible. Looks like I have to bear with this hardship and be that lamb as I had mentioned earlier.

Like they say "Life is no bed of roses".....

Friday, November 28, 2008

What in God's name is happening to Mumbai?

Been seeing what was happening in Mumbai on CNN-IBN my heart really bleeds for all the innocent victims. Why and how did this happen. What was the intelligence doing? Each time the terrorist introduce a new way of terrorising, it really takes the Indian Government by surprise and why can't they be better prepared and not take action after the damage has been done.

My neighbours called me up late last night to inquire about my wife who is in India at the moment but I told them that she is in Chennai and not to worry. Everyone panics and I am wondering who knows even the South some day may not be spared and the terrrosist would look at new ways and means to terrorise. When are the Intellengence or security in India going to wake up to reality and at least prevent such dastardly acts? Look at US after 9/11 things and the publics mindset has changed but in India even after all the attacks, nothing really has changed. And next the opposition would start the blame game instead of being united in solving this problem and working as a team in times of crises.

I feel sorry for the public and the tourist who happen to be there and those who were affected by these incidents. I guess enough is enough and from now on the Government has to take a tough stand. I know I am not entitled to comment on this but I feel something has to be done soon so that it doesn't occur again.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Oh what a life!

Time seems to have lost it's meaning and I was busy with lots of things that is happening to me. First I got the news that I am finally approved as a Director for not only one subsidiary but two and also there was an increment as Directors fee and they are changing my Pajero to Nissan X-Trail but the only thing is that I didn't have the time to collect the car.

I also attended my second round of interview this morning with the CEO of the future company that I intend to join, possible posting at Sarawak (East Malaysia) or Abu Dhabi, just keeping my fingers crossed. This is the first company that I had gone for interview after I returned from Hyderabad India.

And with my present company, we are looking at re-structuring it and I have to play a major role in it and also I am hoping to get the other job soon. So I am waiting as either way it is a win-win situation.

I have been coming back home late due to the extra workload and also I have to make sure I am back by 9 p.m. as my son would be waiting for me to get his dinner. The weather has not been helpful as it has been raining very heavily for the past few days and the traffic gets real heavy and sluggish.

Hope to get some good news soon.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Quotes of the Week

"Life simply is. It follows its course. Give yourself to the moment. Let life reveal itself to you." --Jerry Brown
"There are obviously two educations. One should teach us how to make a living and the other how to live." --James Truslow Adams
"Happiness is that state of consciousness which proceeds from the achievement of one's values." --Martin Luther King, Jr.
Click here to email these quotes to a friend | More Inspirational Quotes

Monday, November 24, 2008

A different kind of weekend.

This weekend seemed to be different from the others as my wife had left for India on Saturday for 10 days and I had to be with son who is 16 years old. We had a quiet day on Saturday night, I had bought dinner outside and it was a simple "Char Keow Teow" and I bought 2 DVDs for the weekend. We watched "Taken" a movie about a kidnap by some Eastern Europe mobsters and trade them as prostitutes by making them become a junkie. This is the only time that I can watch my movie with the surround system volume louder that normal (as my wife doesn't approve it when she is here). And I was watching it with Jack Daniels(again another disapproval) for company and the movie was about the father(parent) who would do anything for his daughter whom he loved so much. The hero was Liam Neeson and I would recommend this movie if you are a thriller buff.

Well Sunday was a quiet day too, got up and I had my breakfast of 2 slices of bread and later I got some "nasi lemak" for breakfast for my son. We went out shopping late in the morning, I bought bread, cooked salami, breakfast ham, fruit juice,cup noodles, other korean and chinese noodles for my son so that he can have his lunch over the weekday as I was would be in my office. We had our lunch together at an Indian restaurant "Kanna Curry House" and it was served on banana leaf, my son had fried sears fish,tofu and I had mutton "varuwal" with the usual rice, vege, rasam and curry of your choice.

Now I guess I know what it feels like being a single parent and there are a lot of responsibility and work to do. I have to take out the garbage and make sure that everything is spick and span like washing all the dishes. I guess my wife deserved the break and I really appreciate what she does in order to keep everything well oiled in the house without complaining (she was like the anti-virus in the background keeping everything in order).

With regards to my son, I have no problem with him as he does his own stuff and since it is his school holidays, he spend most of the time playing games on the internet, he also reads his novels. My wife had washed and ironed all my clothes for the next 10 days and I guess I have enough for 20 days or more.

Well I have stated reading a book by Obama titled "Audacity of Hope" and it is a best seller. So far the book is okay. This morning I left early for work and I know it would be another hectic day for me. The weather is fine outside as it has been raining most of the night and it is pretty cool, not good for a construction man as it would hamper some of my works.

I hope the week would be smooth and I can't wait to get back to my books at night as I intend to finish the Obama's book by this weekend.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Economic Problems and Facing Our Fears

By Julie Melillo

With the recent collapse of two Wall Street giants, speculation of doom seems to hang in the air especially here in New York City. Between gas prices, politics and financial crisis, it's amazing anyone seems to be able to get on with their day. And my clients are definitely feeling the strain, with the situation affecting their careers and pocketbooks.

In spite of all of this, I want to point out something. Tragedy can be a time of great growth. Our lives, dreams and families don't have to be demolished -- they can instead take flight.

That might sound crazy, and yes, you're right that Wall Street does affect Main Street -- all of our Main Streets. And yes, the economy is all linked together, etc, and it may trickle down. But that does not mean your life is ruined. It could even mean the opposite.

Times of tragedy are times of change. There is nothing inherently wrong with change, but bringing in something new does always mean letting go of something. We associate letting go of something with sadness, and so the situation seems bad.

But all times of change really are, is a reminder that it is natural for life to be in constant flux. Life is not stable, for all of our attempts to make it that way. And accepting that it is natural to need to adapt, to continue to grow, to re-assess, will connect us deeper with what it means to be alive and human. It can even connect us closer together, as we remember we are alive, and we are not so far removed from natural forces of life.

Instead of clinging on to what material things we have, let's instead remember to let go of the fleeting things in life that are never really ours. And hold tight to what matters.

We don't have to be victims of the world and the evening news. We have a choice to do things differently. Each of us are alive and we all have a shot. Why not take it?

You logically know you are not actually sitting still. You know the world is moving. So don't resent this fact. Or get angry at Wall Street. Accept that we are all surfing here, and we need to do our best to be strong enough to ride out the waves -- the easy ones, and the tough ones.

Change happens so gradually most of the time. We don't notice it. Like the turning of the earth or the smooth transition from season to season -- but growth is always there. Sometimes these changes are sudden -- we lose a job. We lose someone we love. And other times, these changes are gradual -- we become unhappy at work. A relationship becomes distant over the years. But that change is always with us. Even when nothing appears to be happening, things are still changing (both inside of us and in the outside world). We never stop growing and the world doesn't either.

It is the nature of life to change -- empires rising and falling, ocean waves swelling and crashing, financial charts increasing and decreasing -- this is the nature of life. We don't need to be victims of nature and the outside world. We don't have to cower with fear as we list the factors we can't control. There will always be things outside of our control. But we are extremely powerful as individuals, once we decide to be. We can choose to make a choice -- our own choice.

The less we cling on to the things we can never really "own," the more free we will be. And the more we take charge of our lives, assessing what is there and what is not, seeing situations for what they are, and keeping our dreams in sight, doing what is best for our happiness and that of our families -- and doing all of this in the midst of whatever is happening.

Humans have been through terrible times, and Wall Street is not the worst of it. So let's be happy for the strength, intelligence and adaptability we have as people -- and find a way to harness difficulty and turn it into success.

The outside world, as big as it seems, is not as large as the human desire to live happily. And nothing can hold you back from getting what you want if you choose to make it happen, regardless of anything else. If you own it and take responsibility and accept it, both for your own mistakes and the world's, there is a way.

"The caterpillar thought the world had ended, and then he turned into a butterfly..." --anonymous

Copyright © 2008 Julie Melillo
Julie Melillo is a Certified Life Coach in Manhattan. She coaches in-person in the city and offers phone and online coaching sessions across the country. Ready to make your dreams happen? Visit her web site: Your Dreams - Life Coaching

I just finished reading this article and I felt that I should share it with you as I am sure all of us are going through this uncertainty caused by the global meltdown and for those who are directly affected, the question is "why me". I had a lot of plans but right now everything is put on the back burner and I really don't know when we would come out of this mess and your guess is as good as mine. But all things does have a cycle and I hope this phase passes over as soon as possible. So just hang on....

Quotes of the Week

"Education is not the filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire." --William Butler Yeats
"To be independent of public opinion is the first formal condition of achieving anything great." --G. W. F. Hegel
"An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity." --Martin Luther King, Jr.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Time flies

I guess it is an apt title on what I am going to say. Time flies and I have actually lost track of it ever since I came back from Hyderabad and I have been as busy as a bee. I know I had a tough week after coming back from Hyderabad as when I was away, the evil gossip mongers had started their trade and the worst thing that I hate is when it happens within your organisation. I know we had a new contractor taking over our scope of work as directed by the Ministry of Housing but when the new contractor came in and I had made all arrangements for a smooth transition but there are those who would like to find faults in everything that has been done.

I received a nasty email from my HR on telling me what and how do things but I had send my reply back to the HR Department telling them not to interfere with the operations part of the work. You see the HR Department was acting on gossip that was spinned from my site and what I was pissed of was, why can't the HR Department call me even though I was away in another country to clarify whatever that was that they wanted to clarify with me.

Anyway I had identified the culprit and I am giving him the cold shoulder treatment, my policy is very simple, you mess with me, you better watch out. Otherwise, they take you for granted and to me an empty vessel makes the most noise and they are the gossip mongers.

Looks like I have deviated from what I set out to write, yes ...time flies...is that good or bad? I had a good piece of news today, signed up the papers to be a Director and hopefully my former Director won't place an injunction on that because he is on a rampage after losing the company.

Looks like I have to take things easy and find time.....

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Back to work

Yes I am back to work after a hectic week in Hyderabad and all I can say now is "Thank God" I am back home. Now why do I say that is very simple, I have closed down my office, gave up my residence and sold the company car as all these items were bothering me for the past few months. But now I have completed my transition from Hyderabad and it's back to work. I had a lot of things to sort out in Hyderabad and the biggest headache was the office files, but I have somehow managed to pack up all my files, 15 big boxes and placed them at my accountants office.

I know I still have to go to Hyderabad but this time I would stay in a hotel and don't have to worry about such mundane things like my breakfast and what not. Anyway I hope the need doesn't arise for me to leave for Hyderabad in the next couple of months.

Back to work and it's like a hell hole here with a lot of uncertainties and I am really pissed out with the global meltdown, it has affected all of us and I hope the economy would pick up soon as I have to find a way to get out of my present employment. So this time I have to start all over again looking for a better employment. I know I was rattling about interviews and other jobs in my previous blogs but so far nothing has come my way and as I say it, thanks to the global recession. Hope things would pick up or else we are all doomed (at least me)....

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Back from Hyderabad for good

Kuala Lumpur International Airport (below)
Well it was a hectic week for me as I left for Hyderabad last Sunday and reached their Shamshabad International Airport by mid-night. I was feeling rather sleepy as I had quite a few pegs of whisky. I took the cab from outside the airport as my neighbour told me, it is cheaper that way but it was foolish of me to do that in order to save a few bucks for the company. I remember the cab driver was taking me a long route and I was so dead tired that I dozed off in the cab. I don't even have the drivers name or the cab number, but I just dozed off. They woke me up as they got closer to the place that I stayed for direction, I only realised what a fool I was to doze off in the cab, what if those guys had driven me somewhere and robbed me of everything and after that just dump me on the roadside, but I guess there is still some goodness left in Hyderabad. The picture on my right is taken from the Shamshabad International Airpotrt and I waited for at least 4 hours on my return yesterday, as I went early to the airport.

I was reading my book which I bought in Hyderabad last Monday and the book is titled "The White Tiger" by Aravind Adiga and the book was fantastic as I just finished reading by this afternoon (It's a winner of Man Booker prize for 2008) . Here is the:

Synopsis

Born in a village in heartland India, the son of a rickshaw puller, Balram is taken out of school by his family and put to work in a teashop. As he crushes coals and wipes tables, he nurses a dream of escape - of breaking away from the banks of Mother Ganga, into whose depths have seeped the remains of a hundred generations.

The White Tiger is a tale of two Indias. Balram’s journey from darkness of village life to the light of entrepreneurial success is utterly amoral, brilliantly irreverent, deeply endearing and altogether unforgettable.


The rest of my trip was hectic as I had to close down my residence and office. I put all my files in big cartoons and gave away a lot of my stuff. Most of the major stuff like tables and air-conditioners, my accountant had taken it. And I finally got to sell the company car on Thursday for a good price and what a relief it was as I left Hyderabad as the same way I came here, with a suitcase. So bye-bye Hyderabad.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Leaving for Hyderabad

I would be leaving for Hyderabad tonight for about 5 days and I guess I am going to be in isolation from the rest of the world during these gruesome days. Not that Hyderabad doesn't have any internet connection but I am going to be staying in my old house and since I wasn't around for three months, most of my accounts has been disconnected or suspended for:

1. Tatasky (Satellite TV)
2. Airtel post paid mobile number
3. Tata USB Modem
4. My company car Insurance & quarterly road tax.

Sounds bad huh! It's like I will be transported back to the stone ages. The positive thing that I have is my laptop and DVD player with lots of my old collection of DVD. Anyway I still can access to the internet at my accountants office, if I am there. With regards to my mobile phone, I am using my Malaysian number which is roaming but would cost me a bomb to call anyone in Hyderabad as I know how the guys in Hyderabad would like to yak, yak and yak.

As for my transport during my stay, I am going to hire a car to get me around in Hyderabad as I am staying quite far away in Sainikpuri in Secunderabad. I am not going to risk driving the existing company Scorpio and God only knows whether I can dispose of the car within these next few days. Otherwise the car goes to my accountant and he has to figure out a way to dispose it (not by burning I hope).

I have to clear all my office files as my accountant is willing to store it in his ofice. Last on my list is that I have to clear all the other items(bed, air-con, etc...) in the house. So it's going to be a helluva working week for me and given the choice I rather be at home, hoping that everything in life gets reformatted by itself.

By the way I won't be blogging for about a week and I hope to be back by next Sunday. Yeah since I am going to be Hyderabad, can anyone suggest a good book for me, which has to be a must read book because I love to buy books in Hyderabad.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Corporate thieves


Which side are you on? The robber or the victim? Isn't this happening to us all over the corporate world today? We are bailing out someone's bad business judgement by using our hard earned cash as a tax payer.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Coming About Of The American Dream

Martin Luther King, Jr


In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.
The marvellous new militancy which has engulfed our commu
nity must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realise that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realise that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.
And... even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood. I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character... I have a dream that one day... right there in Alabama
little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers....
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; “and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.”
This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be
able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.
And this will be the day — this will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with new meaning:
My country ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing./ Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim’s pride,/ From every mountainside, let freedom ring!/ And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true...
And when this happens, when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:
Free at last! Free at last!/ Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!
Excerpted from the ‘I Have a Dream’ speech delivered on August 28, 1963, at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington DC.

Advice of the Day

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Obama makes history

Congratulations Mr. President...elect.....Obama...need I say more?

Monday, November 3, 2008

Advice of the Day

'You've got to find what you love,' Jobs says

This is the text of the Commencement address by Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, delivered on June 12, 2005.

I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I've ever gotten to a college graduation. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That's it. No big deal. Just three stories.

The first story is about connecting the dots.

I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit. So why did I drop out?

It started before I was born. My biological mother was a young, unwed college graduate student, and she decided to put me up for adoption. She felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates, so everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his wife. Except that when I popped out they decided at the last minute that they really wanted a girl. So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle of the night asking: "We have an unexpected baby boy; do you want him?" They said: "Of course." My biological mother later found out that my mother had never graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers. She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would someday go to college.

And 17 years later I did go to college. But I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class parents' savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn't see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn't interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting.

It wasn't all romantic. I didn't have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends' rooms, I returned coke bottles for the 5¢ deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on. Let me give you one example:

Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn't have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can't capture, and I found it fascinating.

None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, its likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later.

Again, you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.

My second story is about love and loss.

I was lucky — I found what I loved to do early in life. Woz and I started Apple in my parents garage when I was 20. We worked hard, and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a $2 billion company with over 4000 employees. We had just released our finest creation — the Macintosh — a year earlier, and I had just turned 30. And then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company you started? Well, as Apple grew we hired someone who I thought was very talented to run the company with me, and for the first year or so things went well. But then our visions of the future began to diverge and eventually we had a falling out. When we did, our Board of Directors sided with him. So at 30 I was out. And very publicly out. What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.

I really didn't know what to do for a few months. I felt that I had let the previous generation of entrepreneurs down - that I had dropped the baton as it was being passed to me. I met with David Packard and Bob Noyce and tried to apologize for screwing up so badly. I was a very public failure, and I even thought about running away from the valley. But something slowly began to dawn on me — I still loved what I did. The turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit. I had been rejected, but I was still in love. And so I decided to start over.

I didn't see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.

During the next five years, I started a company named NeXT, another company named Pixar, and fell in love with an amazing woman who would become my wife. Pixar went on to create the worlds first computer animated feature film, Toy Story, and is now the most successful animation studio in the world. In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT, I returned to Apple, and the technology we developed at NeXT is at the heart of Apple's current renaissance. And Laurene and I have a wonderful family together.

I'm pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn't been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don't lose faith. I'm convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You've got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don't settle.

My third story is about death.

When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: "If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right." It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" And whenever the answer has been "No" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a scan at 7:30 in the morning, and it clearly showed a tumor on my pancreas. I didn't even know what a pancreas was. The doctors told me this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to live no longer than three to six months. My doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in order, which is doctor's code for prepare to die. It means to try to tell your kids everything you thought you'd have the next 10 years to tell them in just a few months. It means to make sure everything is buttoned up so that it will be as easy as possible for your family. It means to say your goodbyes.

I lived with that diagnosis all day. Later that evening I had a biopsy, where they stuck an endoscope down my throat, through my stomach and into my intestines, put a needle into my pancreas and got a few cells from the tumor. I was sedated, but my wife, who was there, told me that when they viewed the cells under a microscope the doctors started crying because it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. I had the surgery and I'm fine now.

This was the closest I've been to facing death, and I hope its the closest I get for a few more decades. Having lived through it, I can now say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a useful but purely intellectual concept:

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.

Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation. It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late 1960's, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors, and polaroid cameras. It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.

Stewart and his team put out several issues of The Whole Earth Catalog, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitch-hiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words: "Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish." It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

Thank you all very much.


Stuck in the rut

Everyday seems to be the same old day but with a different date on it for me. I am drifting into a state of oblivion and God only knows where all this is going to end up. This morning I was quite eager to get moving at work but by mid-day, I realized it was just like any other day and it sucks.

My meeting with the purchasers last Saturday went on well for me but then the purchasers were disappointed with us on our lack of commitment in really getting the work started. I know that I can't move forward as there are a lot legal tangle that we have got ourself into with the old management not letting go of things that easily.

I did call up the last company that I had gone for an interview and it sounded positive as he told me to call him on Wednesday. I know I am running out of options and I am beginning to feel that I am stuck in this rut that was created by my old management and all of us are sinking slowly with it.

My trip to Hyderabad is on Sunday but the present financial conditions that we are in, I really don't know whether I can actually make my trip and also with the uncertainty of the whole scenario.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Bananas anyone?


This tiny looking banana was taken from my house and it is a tiny banana tree. The story behind this banana tree is that it came along with the turf. We had actually got a contractor to do the little bit of turfing at my house and to our surprise the tiny banana tree was growing along with the turf. So we decided not to chop it off and again to our surprise the banana flower was there followed by the tiny bananas. I have to wait until the bananas start to ripe to see how it taste.

Such a wonderful life?

I would like to share this video with you for a wonderful Sunday and God Bless you.....


Obama vs McCain Dance off

This was posted on Natasha's World blog site and I found the video "real" funny ...what do you say?

See more funny videos at Funny or Die

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Advice of the Day

Stage fright

Do you ever get stage fright? I have a meeting today and I have to chair the meeting between the  purchasers and developer. Well I represent the developer against maybe a bunch of angry purchasers. A lot of things is actually going around in my head:

What are they going to ask? 
What would their reaction be?  
What if their demand is unreasonable?
How would I handle angry purchasers?

I know the situation is explosive as we as developers had failed to deliver their houses for the past 3 years and it could be attributed to bad management by our former management and the new management that I represent is quite sincere in getting on with the job but the only crunch is that we have a very bad cash flow situation. And hence we have to appeal to the good senses of the purchasers in working with us as a team on a win-win formula.

We have identified a contractor willing to re-start the project again but now we have to get the "angry" purchasers to agree on some terms and conditions so that we can start work immediately otherwise I think all of us would have a slow death(project) or the situation would be "status quo".

So it all depends on how I am going to pull it off with them and I am really feeling jittery. I have conducted meetings, but never with the public and that also when it concerns their life savings.

So God, please help me. Let me come out of this in one piece.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Cheers


A nice place to park after a few drinks. So bottoms up and cheers.

Writer's block

Seems like I am stuck on what to write and where is my tea to perk me up? I am sitting in my cabin at my office and wondering what I should write. So far nothing interesting happened to me as it has been work, work and work. I was appointed as a Director for one of our subsidiary as a corporate nominee from my company. But the catch is, I am appointed as a Director with all the liabilities minus the extra cash. Am I being foolish?

I leave that as it is and now I have to unblock my writer's block. Come on ideas, flow. Looks like it is dried up and maybe I should meditate and something might creep in while I am in bliss meditating. But then again, meditating in my cabin is not a good idea as it would construe that I am sleeping on my job or they might think that I have turned into a zombie.

Yeah, I got my trip to Hyderabad on 09.11.2008 approved by the Directors and I am going to be there to wind up my residence and office, I would be there for a week (aha...paid vacation). Well that would give me a lot of stuff to write and perhaps take some snap shots of Hyderabad too.

Ah...the Briyani and kebabs in Hyderabad is already making my mouth water and looks like my laptop is getting drenched......got to stop....otherwise...it would get short-circuit....

15 Hot New Technologies That Will Change Everything

Memristor circuits lead to ultrasmall PCs. Intel and AMD unleash massively multicore CPUs. Samsung TVs respond to your every gesture. These and other developing technologies will fundamentally change the way you think about--and use--technology.

read more | digg story

Advice of the Day

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Happy Birthday Post

Guess by now I would have collected one of those and it's like getting closer to "home" that is if you get my drift. Woke up pretty early in the morning and my son from Moscow wished me "Happy Birthday" on MSN chat and it was about 1.30 a.m. there (God knows what he is doing up so late).

My wife just wished me ......

It's a sad day for me as I know I am getting older and nearer too....(should I say grave....)

Here are some quotes that I spotted on the net and would like to share them with you, to at least cheer me up.....

Emily Dickinson
We turn not older with years but newer every day.

Bill Clinton
When our memories outweigh our dreams, we have grown old.

Cherokee Expression
When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice.

Paul H. Duhn
You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt, as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fear, as young as your hope, as old as your despair.

Marcus Aurelius
You will give yourself peace of mind if you perform every act of your life as if it were your last.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

What perks you up?

Have you ever got up in the morning feeling all drained out of energy? What do you reach out to rejuvenate yourself? For me I guess it is a strong cup of tea brewed by myself as I like it no other way. Now after the strong cup of tea I am ready to face the morning and I have also started on my multi vitamin and mineral supplements too as I feel it has helped me to feel alert.

And what sort of breakfast do you have? I prefer my two slice of wholemeal bread with a thin spread of margarine.

Would listening to music perks you up? It does sometimes for me depending on my mood and right now I am listening to REO Speedwagon " I can't fight this feeling" and I know it is helping me fight this day.

So tell me what gets you going?

Advice of the Day

Monday, October 27, 2008

Deepavali is not Diwali

CHENNAI: It’s Deepavali in Tamil Nadu on Monday and Diwali in the rest of the states on Tuesday. Intriguing? While the festival basically celebrates the triumph of good over evil, there is a difference on what the day signifies for people of the State and for those in the rest of the country.
In Tamil Nadu, the day is observed as ‘Naraka Chaturdasi’ — the killing of demon king Narakasura by Lord Krishna’s wife Sathyabama,— which falls on October 28 this year. For others, Diwali marks the return of Lord Ram to Ayodhya after 14 years of vanavas.
For north Indians, the day after Diwali is Annakut — New Year Day. So,merchants open new account books on Diwali. The Tamil New Year begins at a different time of the year and is in no way linked to Deepavali. So is the case in Kerala (Vishu) and in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka (Ugadi).
However, Diwali commemorates Rama vanquishing Ravana. Hence, the festival has come to symbolise the triumph of good over evil also. The people of Ayodhya placed lighted lamps along the path that Rama took on his return and the tradition of lighting ‘diyas’ continues to this day.
There is yet another belief that Rama returned to his kingdom through Tamil Nadu. Hence, Deepavali is celebrated here a day ahead of north India.
Despite the differences, the similarities are galore. Be it Deepavali or Diwali, the festival is an occasion for visiting friends and relatives, exchanging gifts, preparing sweets and sharing them with others, wearing new clothes and bursting crackers.

© Copyright 2008 ExpressBuzz

I found this article quite informative and I guess in Malaysia we follow South India in celebrating Deepavali today.

Quotes of the Week

"Mastery is not perfection, it is journey, and the true master must be willing to try and fail and try again." --George Leonard
"I believe life is a series of near misses. A lot of what we ascribe to luck is not luck at all. It's seizing the day and accepting responsibility for your future. It's seeing what other people don't see and pursuing that vision." --Howard Schultz
"Entrepreneurship is a state of mind, a can-do attitude, a capacity to focus on a vision and work toward it." --Barry Rogstad

Advice of the Day

Diwali Pictures



These pictures were taken from the Star newspaper Kuala Lumpur and Diwali is celebrated today in Malaysia and I guess it is slotted for tomorrow in India. So here's wishing everyone a very "Happy Diwali"

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Meeting the guru

Paulo Coelho

I MET Mick Brown at Frankfurt airport. A journalist with the London Daily Telegraph, he was sent to interview me at a stop-over between two flights. He is such an interesting person that when the interview was over he began to tell me some quite fascinating stories.

Once he received a pamphlet saying that a guru called Mahaguru Yogi Arka would be giving a series of lectures in England. He discovered that he was staying in London, and set out to visit him for his report. He rang the doorbell, a young woman with oriental features opened the door for him, and made a sign for him to follow her into a sitting room.

Arka was sitting there, his legs crossed and his eyes closed, apparently deep in meditation. Mike did not know quite what to do, and then the master opened his eyes and made a sign for him to come over and sit in front of him.

“Do you have any questions?” He had several, but they all seemed to have slipped from his thoughts. The only one that came to mind was: “What do people want to know when they seek out a guru like you?” “Imagine that you are sitting in front of the ocean,” he said. “What do you want from the ocean?” Mike thought for a bit and answered: “Peace.” Arka nodded his head.

“Peace. You look at the ocean and understand that it can bring you peace. Someone else asks for a fish to eat. Some people think that there is petrol at the bottom of this ocean, and try to find out where this treasure is hidden. People want different things, but the ocean is big and can give everyone what they ask for”.

Mike remarked that he had met many gurus in his life; how was he to know whom to trust?

“When someone tries to impose his way of thinking on someone else, they cannot be called a guru. Whoever feels they have the truth is on the road to lies. Whoever wants to convert someone else has not understood the meaning of spirituality.

“Do you remember going to school when you were a little boy? There you had teachers of English, physics, chemistry and history. Spiritual apprenticeship works in the same way.” Arka continued: “And then there is love. Love is the bridge that joins the head to the heart, it’s the force that attracts, that keeps the planets and the stars in their orbits. The scientists call love “the force of gravity”.

Arka rose. “Do you have anything else to ask?” “If I want to find the truth, what should I do?” “Stop seeking for it. And then look right beside you, that’s where you’ll find it”.

Translated by JAMES MULHOLLAND

Taken from Hyderabad Deccan Chronicle Sunday Edition 26.10.2008

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Happy Diwali


Well it's that time of the year that all the Hindu's get to celebrate Diwali and here in Malaysia it is celebrated in a very grand manner too. I remember how I used to get up very early and help my parents with the decoration and all my new clothes would be lined up in the prayer room so that they can bless them and after that I get to wear my new clothes. Usually the prayers would start after our oil bath.

We would have open house and my friends would start coming over to visit us from late morning until late in the night. My mum would be busy with the preparation of food and usually it would be Briyani, Kurma and lots of other stuff.

Well that was many years back and this Diwali I would be in my sisters house for lunch and later at night with my parents. It's been awhile since I was at home in Malaysia for Diwali but on this special day I sure would feel nostalgic as I enjoyed this festival during my childhood with all the "ang-pow" that I would receive from my relatives and now it's pay back time as I have to give to all the nephews and nieces. By the way "ang-pow" is a Chinese term for money being given in a packet and since we are in a multi racial community here, we have imbibed a little bit of everyone's culture.

Here's wishing everyone a very "Happy Diwali" and do light up a lamp for the goodness that is still prevailing in our times.

Advice of the Day

Friday, October 24, 2008

Do you believe in Guardian angels?


I was just pondering on the subject of guardian angels and do you believe in them? I can relate a bad accident that I had a couple of years back, I was working almost every night until mid-night as I was involved in the foundation and basement work of Hotel Mandarin Oriental which is adjacent to the Petronas Twin Towers. Our earthworks for the four level of basement involved the excavation of massive amount of earth which can only be carted out from 7.00 p.m. until 7.00 a.m. every day (I stayed back until 10.00 or 11.00 p.m.) and coordinating these works really took a lot from me physically as in the mornings I was in charge of the foundation works.

So I was pretty tired on the fateful Friday somewhere in 1997. I was driving a red 4wd Vitara Suzuki and after work which was about 10.30 p.m. I left my site. I was driving back on the Federal Highway and I was feeling rather unusually tired. I know I was exhausted but never have I felt like dozing off. And I was pretty close to my house and the next thing I could remember was a "bang" and a "thud" and I woke up from my sleep (closed my eyes for a few seconds), my car came to a stop after hitting the extended portion of a crane parked on a Federal Highway. I didn't know what was happening as it was all like a dream. I saw my car was smashed very badly, one side of the car was caved in, my steering broke into 2, my seat belt snapped and I couldn't believe my eye. I came out of the car, there was police siren, camera man, and lots of onlooker. As I was standing amongst the onlookers, some of them were suprised that I came out without a scratch. My chest was paining because of the impact of the accident and due to the seat belt which strained me from smashing my head against the windscreen (count my blessings).

Now when I think about the incident, I am sure that there was a guardian angel looking after me otherwise how could I have survived the accident as the car was smashed pretty badly and from what I heard from the mechanics, they had to change the chassis of the car due to the impact.

Just thought of sharing this with you and I wanted to know whether any of you had any similar incidents like this.

Advice of the Day

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Children & Proverbs

I would like to share this collection that I had come across the net and I find it amusing the way the kids completed the proverbs.

A first grade teacher collected well known proverbs. She gave each child in her class the first half of a proverb and asked them to come up with the remainder of the proverb. Their insight may surprise you.

Better to be safe than....................Punch a 5th grader
Strike while the .........................Bug is close
It's always darkest before............... Daylight Savings Time
Never underestimate the power of..........Termites
You can lead a horse to water but........how?
Don't bite the hand that................. looks dirty
No news is................................impossible
A miss is as good as a...................Mr.
You can't teach an old dog new............math
If you lie down with dogs, you'll.........stink in the morning
Love all, trust..........................me
The pen is mightier than the..............pigs
An idle mind is..........................The best way to relax
Where there's smoke there's...............pollution
Happy the bride who.......................gets all the presents
A penny saved is..........................not much
Two's company, three's....................the Musketeers
Don't put off till tomorrow what..........you put on to go to bed
Laugh and the whole world laughs with you, cry and.......you have to blow your nose.
None are so blind as......................Stevie Wonder
Children should be seen and not...........spanked or grounded
If at first you don't succeed.............get new batteries
You get out of something what you.........see pictured on the box
When the blind leadeth the blind..........get out of the way

And the favorite:

Better late than.........................pregnant.

My water woes in Hyderabad


Saw this cartoon on Deccan Chronicle Hyderabad Edition dated 22.10.2008. It sure did remind me of my stay in Hyderabad. I stayed in a bungalow in Banjara Hills where I had my office in the Ground Floor and my residence on the 1st Floor. I actually didn't have water supplied by the utility company as my landlord didn't pay for the water bill and I had to call the tankers almost every 4 days for my water supply. The coordination was done by my servant and I would have this fear of waking one morning without water but things went on smoothly except when on one occasion the tanker drivers were on strike. I really had to ration water and it came to a stage where I had to use my 20 litres drinking water supplied in huge cannisters to have my bath (expensive bath though).

I remember after I shifted from Banjara Hills to Sainikpuri and I had water, plenty of it and all I have to do was switch on the pump for the well water. And the water was hard and I know how the feeling would be when you soap up and there is not much lather and you feel really not that fresh and your hair would be hard to comb (not that I have a lot).

Right now I am at home and how easy it is here in Kuala Lumpur, there is plenty of water everywhere and I have a shower for 30 minutes and I can drink right from the tap (I have the filter system installed). Guess the reason is simple as it rains here almost every other day and I am getting sick of seeing water everywhere.....

Advice of the Day

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Saga continues

Yes I had my 2nd round of interview yesterday afternoon with the Managing Director of the company that I intend to join and I spend about 1.5 hours with him. He went through my resume and we chatted about old friends in the industry and it so happens that one of the person that he had in mind was my ex-Boss. Half way through the interview he had called him and after he had spoken to him he had passed the phone to me and it was nearly 10 years since I had spoken to my ex-Boss and he still recognised me. Now I am wondering whether this was part of the interview where he was checking or verifying what I had told him on the people that I knew. Anyway I had a small discussion with the Director too and he had some problem that his Engineer had posed and he wanted me to have a look at it. So there I was looking at the problem and joining in the discussion. It looks like they want me on-board but they have not confirmed on anything yet.

The Managing Director had informed me that he would let me know in another couple of days as he told me that they would call me up for the 3rd round of interview. Boy I never knew that job interviews can be this lengthy. I remember my interview that I had with my present company, the Senior Manager had flew in from the HQ with my appointment letter and he told me to sign it immediately and that was what I did and I am with this company for the past 17 years.

I thought to myself, now what is the worst thing that can happen? Nothing actually as I already have a job and if I don't get it, so be it. But deep down, I do want to get the job and I guess it is time that I moved on from my existing company. The other thing that I don't like is the waiting game and it really puts everything on hold and the expectation of getting the good news along with the package (salary & perks).

So I guess I have to be patience for another couple of days and I would also know the fate of my company based on the Annual General Meeting which is on Thursday. So a lot things that I have to look forward to by this week. It's like Do or Die, however you look at it.

Advice of the Day

Monday, October 20, 2008

Quotes of the Week

"The guidance within evolves the world towards a heaven that's already here. To know this is to know our destiny." --from The Celestine Prophecy
"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life." --Steve Jobs
"How very important it is to bring about in the human mind the radical revolution. The crisis is a crisis in consciousness, a crisis that cannot anymore accept the old norms, the old patterns, the ancient traditions. Considering what the world is now with all the misery, conflict, destructive brutality, aggression and so on – man is still as he was, is still brutal, violent, aggressive, acquisitive, competitive and has built a society along these lines." --Krisnamurti

Bright and cheerful Monday morning

Guess you must be wondering how Monday could be cheerful, what happened to the Monday morning blues? It was raining very heavily last night and the weather is cool this morning and I had to wipe out the dew from my side mirrors on my car which I had parked outside as my wife parks her car in the porch. But somehow I woke up today with a nice feeling as I know it is a special day for me. I have my second round of interview at 2.30 p.m. with the Managing Director which I guess is a formality. So you see that's why I can't wait for the morning to fly past until lunch time and after that I can leave for the interview and hopefully get the deal signed off by today.

There are so many things that is going on my head, like when I should leave my present employment and I am eager to start 2009 with a new company as I know things are not very pleasant here with the corporate war that is going on and we are being dragged in.

What better way to start my morning then by listening to Baby Face & Des'ree singing "Fire" cause I think "I'm on Fire". I know I have not been blogging these few days as I have pasted a lot of other stuff that I have downloaded from the net just to be in the loop.

Yeah before I forget, last night I was watching this movie on DVD titled "Death Race", there was no storyline except racing and action all the way. Sometimes it's nice to be a little young at heart and watch trashy movies just to get the wild and reckless side of me to surface and the adrenalin flowing.

Let's see whats in store for me today and how the day unfolds. Here's to a fruitful week for you guys and take it easy as you have only one shot at life so make the most of it even though you have no choice in controlling the events.

Man gambles away his wife

Patna

Shabnam was stunned when her husband’s friends told her that she would be handed over to them

In a story akin to the Pandavas’ tale in the epic Mahabharata, a Muslim man allegedly staked his wife in gambling after he had lost his money and possessions to some people, police said on Sunday.

Mohd. Mokhtar, in his 40s, of Shekhpura town, about 150 km from here, gambled his wife Shabnam, 35, to four of his friends Friday.

Ms Shabnam was stunned when her husband’s friends told her that she would be handed over to them.

“They told me that Mokhtar had lost me in gambling. It frightened me,” she told the police.

The men assaulted and abused her when she refused to go with them.She, along with her two minor sons, met sub-divisional police officer Rajesh Kumar and sought help. Mr Kumar has ordered an inquiry into the incident.


Came across this article on Deccan Chronicle Hyderabad Edition and I just couldn't believe it. How could you gamble away your wife or anybody for that matter. And what could the police do as gambling itself is illegal if it involves money but what happens if it involves human lives?

Need to be in school

Picture of the day

Advice of the Day

Sunday, October 19, 2008

How to reduce stress

Advice of the Day

Human faith

Paulo Coelho

SRI RAMAKRISHNA

tells of a man who was about to cross a river when the teacher Bibhishana approached him, wrote a name on a piece of paper, fixed it to the man’s back and said: “Fear not. Your faith will help you to walk upon the waters. But the moment you lose your faith, you will drown”. He trusted Bibhishana and began to walk effortlessly across the waters. He had an immense desire to know what his teacher had written on the piece of paper fixed to his back.

He got hold of it and readwhat was written on it:“Oh God Rama, help thisman to cross the river”.

The man thought, “who is this God Rama anyway?” As soon as doubt entered his mind, he was drowned.

The girl and the storm

The worried mother phoned the school and was told that the girl had already left the school despite the storm. Seeing that she had not arrived home yet, she put on a raincoat and went out to search for her daughter.

As she turned the corner,she saw the girl walking towards the house; but she stopped every time lightning fell, looked up at the sky, and smiled.

“Can’t you see the flashes of lightning, mummy?God is taking pictures of me!”

True respect

During the Christianising of Japan, a missionary was arrested by the samurais.

“If you want live, you will have to trample on Christ’s statue, in front of everyone,” said the warriors.

The missionary went to bed, without any doubt in his heart: he would never commit such a sacrilege,and was prepared to be a martyr.

He woke from his bed in the middle of the night and he stumbled over a man sleeping on the floor. It was Jesus Christ himself, in person! “Now that you’ve stood on me, go outside and trample on my statue,” said Jesus. “Because fighting for an idea is far more important than the vanity of a sacrifice”.

Praying for every body

A farmer’s wife was ill. He called a Buddhist priest. The priest began to pray to heal all the sick.

“Just a minute,” interrupted the farmer. “I asked you to pray for my wife,and you are praying for all the sick; you could end up helping my neighbour,who is also unwell. And I don’t like him”.

“By praying for everyone, I am joining together in my prayers the people who are imploring for their sick ones. In unison,these voices reach God and benefit everyone.Divided, they lose their force, and get nowhere”.

Translated by JAMES MULHOLLAND

This article was taken from the Sunday Edition of Hyderabad Deccan Chronicle dated 19.10.2008

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Posting from ScribeFire

Wow Firefox 3 really has a lot of cool add ons and I just installed myself ScribeFire. I can actually blog from my FF3 browser without opening my blog site. I just wanted to do the test run and voila here I am posting this.

I had clips yesterday along with the widget to post whatever I like from the net but somehow I found that it was clashing with my browser and it slowed down the browser along with the coordination too. Let me try this for a couple of days and maybe I can review this ScribeFire. So far it's easy as I mentioned earlier that I am blogging from my browser.

Advice of the Day

BioBeer Fights Cancer and Gets You Drunk

A team of students from Houston's Rice University are a virtual lock for a Nobel Prize with their latest research. They've bioengineered a beer that has anticancer properties.

read more | digg story

My son has Chicken Pox

For the past couple of days it had been very hectic for me as my son is having Chicken Pox and he is in Moscow doing his first year medical. It is full blown and I can feel the loneliness that he is undergoing as a first year student. He is just 18 and this is the first time that he is away from home and my wife wanted me to make a trip to Moscow to see him. But somehow we managed to get our niece (who has done her MD and now doing specialisation) to visit him and get some medication for him. I know he is finding it tough as everything is in Russian and his room-mates find it difficult communicating to the pharmacist in getting the right medicine.

I did speak with the Doctor in charge of the Malaysian students there (our agent) and he suggested that he should be hospitalised for 2 weeks because that's what they do for Chicken Pox cases. Anyway we decided against it and we are talking to my son everyday and he is doing okay now and I guess he needs another 4-5 days of rest. I know he is missing his classes and my wife is worried sick on his health and also on his food.

From what I know a couple of the first year students had Chicken Pox and he got it from one of them. Being a parent and being helpless in not being able to do anything for him is very hard for me to digest, even though Chicken Pox is one of those thing that you have to go through. My prayers are always with him for a speedy recovery.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Simple Maths

A mathematician, a biologist and an engineer were sitting in a bar and had been for four days. All this time, they were observing a building across the street. On the fifth day, they agreed that the building was empty. On the sixth day, they observed two people entering the building in the morning and three people exiting the building in the afternoon.

"Aha!", exclaimed the engineer, "the building was never truly empty!"

The biologist said, "No, no - they must have procreated."

The mathematician pondered the situation. He slowly said, "If one more person enters the building, then it will be empty."

Reproduced from the net

Mobile phone users warned of new skin disorder

Frequent mobile phone users could be at risk of 'mobile phone rash' on the face or hands, warn doctors. Increasing numbers of cases of the new allergic skin disorder are being reported, according to the British Association of Dermatologists.

read more | digg story

Adam Khoo's Thought

Received this in my email today and I thought of sharing it you.

Profit from the Panic!
October 10, 2008 | By Adam Khoo | Dear Investors

What you are seeing now in the market is a PANIC!!!! People who have seen their stock value drop by 50% or more cannot take it and are just selling at whatever price they can.

Hedge funds, institutions and people who have borrowed heavily to buy stocks in the last few months, are not able to meet margin calls and are forced to sell. As individuals run to the banks and withdraw whatever money they have left, mutual funds are forced to sell their stock and raise cash to meet this withdrawls. So everyone is SELLING SELLING SELLING at whatever price they can get.

On the other hand, many people with cash are sitting on the sidelines not daring to buy anything for fear that it can go lower.So what happens when you have got millions of sellers and no buyers? Stock prices plunge like a stone! The Dow (8579 pts) is down almost 40% from its highs and the S&P 500 is down 42% to 909 points. This has happened in the last 12 months since the crisis erupted.

When fear and panic happens and people sell irrationally, fundamentals and intrinsic value are thrown out the window. This is exactly what we talked about during Wealth Academy. This is when good companies get dumped together with the bad. (metaphor: This is when people sell 20,000 square foot bungalows on Holland road for $1m). This happened in the 1920s, 1973, 1987, 2002 and now, it is happening again.

Even stocks that are NOT directly related to the financial crisis are being sold at ridiculous prices. Look at Health Care: UNH (intrinsic value (IV) $53) selling @$17.80 , WLP (IV: $95) selling @$36.50 Technology: AAPL (IV: $189) selling@$88.74 Agriculture: MOS (IV:$81)@$36.52 , POT (IV:$184) selling @$92.85, Consumer Staples: KFT (IV:$40) selling@$27.70.

We all know from history and common sense that the market will eventually recover and go to even higher highs. So, why do people still sell when the market is down? Well, because EMOTIONS always overcomes LOGIC in life, even in the markets.

People always fear that THIS IS THE END!!! It will NEVER COME BACK. Also, sometimes it is because people are forced to sell because they have borrowed money to invest or because they need to raise the cash to pay their expenses. This is why you should NEVER borrow to invest or invest with funds that you need for your daily expenses.

So, if you want to emerge a winner, then stay calm, keep your logic and hold and pick up SOUND COMPANIES which are NOT DIRECTLY AFFECTED BY THE CRISIS, have strong balance sheets (low debt, high cash), consistent earnings and a wide economic moat with a high future growth prospects ahead. Here is where you put all your learning s from Wealth Academy to the ultimate test.

If you can do this, you will be one of the very few (like me) who will PROFIT FROM THE PANIC. However, do BEAR in mind (no pun intended), that I personally don’t think this is the lowest point. There is still lots of possibility that the market will still GO LOWER. After breaking the 9000 support, the next support on the Dow is 7500. Meaning it can still go down another 17% from here. Plus, more banks are probably going to fail in the US and in the UK. The UK crisis has just begun and I see that taking a further toll on the market.

This is however, not going to stop me from accumulating strong stocks at discounted prices and accumulating more as it reaches the bottom in a few months. The most important thing is to focus on fundamentally strong stocks that got hit by the collateral damage and avoid the ones that really got hit i.e. Financials. The market will probably not rebound very fast immediately, it will take months or even years for it to climb back up so no rush.

For those of you who have attending my Wealth Academy Program, I will soon email a list of stocks that I am accumulating right now

Doomsday or Golden Opportunity?
October 7, 2008 | By Adam Khoo In |

It seems really difficult to be an investor these days…doesn’t it? Everything you could possibly invest in seems to be going down down down, from the US, UK, China and Singapore. From stocks to commodities.

The intuitive reaction is to get out of the stock market and get into cash. There is intense fear everywhere that this is financial Armageddon and that the stocks will never recover. Yesterday, CNBC’s Jim Cramer (the guy who predicted that Bear Sterns was FINE) threw in the towel and urged all his viewers to SELL SELL SELL, saying that the Dow Jones dropping another 20% to 7,700 is a possibility.

This fear of buying any stocks and the ’sell before I lose everything’ mentality is what is causing the huge drops in stock prices. The Dow Jones plunged to 9955 (as low as 9,600 intraday) and the S&P 500 down to 1,056.The indexes are down roughly 30% from their highs in Oct 2007. The markets have been on a downtrend for 12 months since the Financial crisis erupted.

Before you start panicking like the rest of the crowd and sell your stock positions, always remember that history always repeats itself. This same panic and fear that caused investors to sell at huge losses (and never daring to go back into the market again) is what happened during the last three crashes.

The Crash of 1973- 1974: Stocks crashed 45% over 24 months. It later rallied 300% over an 11 year bull run.

Black Monday (1987). Stocks crashed 38%. Within 2 months, it rallied 561% over a 12 year bull run.

The dot com bubble burst (2001-2003). Stocks crashed 36% over 24 months. It later rallied 86% over a 4 year bull run.

History shows that the harder they fall, the stronger the bull run that follows. Fibonacci expansion in technical analysis shows that the next XOP (extended objective point on the Dow over the next decade would be 18,000 points, The Dow is now at 9,900. That is a 100% return from where we are.

Invest Only With Money You Do Not Need

So, am I saying that you should take all your money and dump it in the stock market right now? NO! There is a high chance that the market could still go a lot lower before it gets better. Remember that we have been in a bear market for only 12 months. The last bear markets of 200-2003 and 1973-1974 lasted 24 months. We are down 30% from the highs. We could well go another 10-20%. Again, nobody can predict the market and I am not pretending to. Anything can happen and it is almost impossible to buy right at the bottom. For all I know, the market could recover and rally next month.

So, what does a smart investor (opposed to trader) do? The most important thing is to invest with money you do not need to use for the next 2-5 years!!!! The reason why people lose out the the stock market is because they are forced to sell at ridiculously low prices (like now) because they HAVE TO raise cash to pay for their house payments, car payments, children’s education. Never Ever Use Money Which You Will Need. And NEVER EVER EVER borrow money to INVEST.

Invest In Great Companies With Solid Fundamentals

Remember that crashes are where FORTUNES ARE MADE. It is YOU, the well educated investor from Wealth Academy that must now put all your learnings to the practical test. Now is the time to research on those great companies (wide economic moat, way undervalued, history of consistent earnings, Low or zero debt, high ROE) and buy them at huge discounts when NOBODY WANTS TO TOUCH STOCKS. When the market turns around (anywhere from 1 month-12 months), you will be those very few who can say that the crisis was where you made your fortune and laugh all the way to the bank.

This is exactly what our dear Warren Buffett is doing right now, spending billions buying up companies for just pennies to the dollar. He just bought up GE, Added to UNH and also GS. The safest thing you can do is to look at non-financial stocks (the financial stocks have assets that are just too complicated to value) or even just simply buying the Index ETFs! That is a no brainer!

As I have always used a consistent dollar cost averaging model, I will not be looking to time the market so much. Rather, I will just happily and consistently add more and more very good stocks to my portfolio REGULARLY at these really great bargain prices.

Goodie…A Recession May Be Coming Soon!

9 Months ago, I mentioned to all of you (in my earlier postings) that the US will not be entering a recession as the boost from US exports (from a falling US dollar) and steady consumer spending will keep moderate growth DESPITE INCREASING OIL PRICES and the financial crisis. Sure enough, the last two quarters of GDP growth WERE POSITIVE and kept the US out of recession.

However. I now think that there is a big possibility that a RECESSION WILL BE COMING. Here are the reasons (extracted from moneycentral.com- Jim Jubak)

1. On Sept. 24, the Commerce Department reported that sales of new homes had dropped by a seasonally adjusted 11.5% in August from July’s already low levels. Sales of 460,000 for the month were down from the 520,000 new homes sold in July and the 500,000 sold in June. Sales for August 2008 were down 34.5% from sales in August 2007 and reached their lowest monthly total since 1991.

2. The Labor Department reported that new unemployment claims had risen to a seasonally adjusted 493,000 in the week ending Sept. 20. That was up from 461,000 the week before. The total number of new and continuing claims climbed to 3.5 million, about 1 million more than at the same time in 2007. Recessions typically see new weekly claims rise to 500,000. The economy isn’t quite there yet, but it’s getting very close.

3. New orders of durable goods — cars, furniture and other items that are expected to last three years or more — fell 4.5% in August, the Commerce Department reported, after posting slight gains in July, June and May. Even after the exclusion of orders for aircraft, which fluctuate wildly from month to month, and automobile sales, which everyone knows are in the tank, new orders were down 3% in August.

4. Consumer spending is starting to be cut and the rally in the US dollar (because of the plunge in Europe) will hurt US exports as well.

So, Why the Hell is this Good?

Recession = Stock Market Recovery

As crazy as it may sound, the START OF RECESSIONS often signals the ENDING OF A BEAR MARKET.

Take a look at the timing of the bear market of 1973-74 and the recession of 1974-75. This 21-month bear market resulted in the S&P 500 500 Index falling 50% from January 1973 through October 1974. The economy didn’t actually go into a recession until the third quarter of 1974. Economic growth fell 4.4% in the third quarter of 1974, 2.2% in the fourth quarter of 1974 and 5.1% in the first quarter of 1975.

If you compare the timing of the recession and the end of the bear market, you’ll notice that the stock market bottomed in October 1974. That’s at the beginning of the fourth quarter. At that point, the recession had just begun and had another quarter and two thirds to run. From the end of October 1974 through the end of March 1975, while the recession was running in full roar, the S&P 500 ACTUALLY CLIMBED 13%.

Because STOCKS DO NOT REFLECT THE ECONOMY but ANTICIPATE IT, the stock market rallies before a recession actually ends. And it was the visible onset of a recession that, in the case of the 1974-75 recession, helped the stock market find a bottom.

So let’s hope that the actual economic recession will come and start signaling the start of the new bull market and the creation on our next fortune.