Tolerate vs Intermingle

21 11 2020

It’s fair to say that one of the greatest legacies of indian independence was not just independance from the British but it was the effort to create a purely pluralistic model for the country. I remember growing up with this feeling, a magical sense of both pride and day to day reality that one lived with. We celebrated all the holidays in our family. Eid, Diwali, Holi and Christmas festivals together with friends of all religion and caste, like it was our own. One of the big differences I noticed when I came to Canada is that in Canada people ‘tolerate’ other religions and in India we actually ‘intermingle’ and there is a sense of synergy that comes out of that. If you think about something lets say, Indian music like the Gazal or even Qawali, they use the musical structure of the ‘Ragas’ and use Persian poetry overlaid onto it and those two combined produce the kind of synchronistic culture in India that is celebrating the mingling of the religions not the separation or simply the tolerance of it. I worry that we are losing that. I don’t want to blame any one leader or person. There is a cultural turn in India towards a certain kind of Hindutva or Hindu nationalism. Politicians are often following trends rather than leading to them and it’s very unfortunate and it misses one of the truly unique aspects of India in the world that India is a great universal nation. It contains within it, so many of the world’s religions. Think about the cultural, traditional and linguistic differences between northern and southern part of India, almost no country has that. The ability to live in harmony and remingle is something that you don’t recognise it when you live in India but its such a marvel when u think of it from the outside and to lose that would be a huge shame



23 08 2019

‘Kashmir’ problem is just a legacy of India’s lack of political will and foresight.

Should India learn a lesson from their past mistakes or repeat the same !

What is so special about Kashmir to demand a special status except its absolute Muslim majority, for centuries of sustained conversions mainly through torture and treachery, doesn’t want to recognize and tolerate any rule other than Islam!

A few disillusioned people feel that giving up Kashmir will bring peace and an end to Islamic fundamentalism or terrorism. Has the partition brought about peace and stability! Surrounded by Muslim countries India will face the same problem as Israel, sooner or later and how many partitions can a nation afford! The basic problem is religion or the difference of it. Rest is fabrication. How long will India allow bifurcation of their nation on the lines of religions !

Kashmir is by far a very unstable region, and independence does not guarantee stability for a country. Iraq’s new government is handling things poorly, Afghanistan’s new government is a joke, Egypt is still frustrated with a lack of results from their new government. America, during its independence went through hard times to become a stable region. Independence would give Kashmir a brand new government but whether or not the government would even be able to function and hold itself together is anyone’s guess. Independence does not equate to stability

Independence doesn’t also end human rights violations committed against them. A new government can turn out to be just as cruel as an old government to its own people, look at Kashmir’s neighbor Afghanistan, who when the Taliban took over had promised their own people peace and prosperity, and then a year later made it so that even kite flying was illegal. New governments doesn’t always have an incentive to treat their own people like beings.

The world is in the worst economic setback since the Great Depression. It might not be a very good time to become a brand new nation seeing as investors are watching their money carefully and wont come to the aid of a brand new small, Muslim majority country located next to Afghanistan and Pakistan in one of the most volatile areas in the world. It is debatable if investors would come at all.

Given Kashmir’s location (bordering China, Pakistan and Afghanistan) it will never be left alone by the powers around it. It is only a third of Afghanistan’s size, making it much easier for the great powers to play the game here just like they did & do in Afghanistan. By adjoining half-dozen troubled provinces in India’s neighbors, the state will become a huge marsh for terrorism to breed. Can India afford to have another unstable neighbor?


Always stay humble and kind

26 11 2018

Hold the door,  say please,  say thank you

Don’t steal, don’t cheat, and don’t lie

I know you got moutains to climb… but always stay humble and kind

When the dreams you’re dreamin’ come to you

When the work you put in is realized

Let yourself feel the pride… but always stay humble and kind

Don’t expect a free ride from no one

Don’t hold a grudge or a chip and here’s why

‘Bitterness keeps you from flying’, always stay humble and kind

Know the difference between sleeping with someone

And sleeping with someone you love

“I love you” ain’t no pick up line so always stay humble and kind

When it’s hot, eat a root beer, a popsicle

Shut off the AC and roll the windows down

Let that summer sun shine, always stay humble and kind

Don’t take for granted the love this life gives you

When you get where you’re goin’ don’t forget turn back around

Help the next one in line and always stay humble and kind

  • Tim McGraw (edited)


30 08 2017

I love the music of Baton Baton Mein, and especially love this song for the way Kishore and Asha have sung it, there is a soapy frothiness to their singing.

Mumbai local trains form a major plot point in this lovely romantic comedy about the Anglo-Indian community of Bombay. In this song, the lead couple are going through their courtship while commuting in the city. There is a strange lost innocence to everything that is shown in this song. I feel that place, that old Bombay, soft music, the uncomplicated way of living shown in the movie, has been lost. Of course, I am romanticizing the past, but then music has that power over me. I cannot end this post without mentioning my two most favorite character in the movie, David Abraham (Uncle Tom)– This actor embodies the  jovial, progressive thinking elder who is always there to mediate between the young and the old generations in Hrishikesh Mukherjee & Basu Chatterjee films. All of us have craved for a David in our lives to make our parents understand our angst in our teenage years. Tina Munim Ambani (Nancy Pereira)  and how delicately beautiful she looks!


Tujhse Naraz Nahi Zindagi

11 07 2017

Tujhse Naraz Nahi Zindagi‘ written by Gulzar has beautifully captured the complications of life. It has words that anyone going through the trial and tribulations of life can relate to.

Here is the translation of the song from the book 100 Lyrics

I am not angry with you, Life
Simply baffled by your innocent questions

Never thought that in order to live, I would need to hold on to pain
Never thought life would extract, a price for every smile
Now – whenever I smile, it feels like these lips are pursed in debt

Life, the trials you threw my way have taught me relationships anew
The comforts of shade I only found under the bright scorching sun

Today my eyes have welled up with tears and soon they will burst forth, I’m sure
Tomorrow, who knows, these sore eyes perhaps will long for the sight of more

Where have I lost that lone drop of tears which I had tucked away so safely?




Consultative Selling

27 04 2017

Today I received a strange phone call. It was from some sales guy who kept insisting on me listening to the service that he had to offer. Just out of the blue he started talking about this ‘service’ without even checking whether I am indeed the guy that he intended to sell this service to. It was like as if he had automated his sales pitch. I had to abruptly stop him in the middle and had to ask him few questions that he was supposed to ask me before his verbal diarrhea.  This later made me think of my good old cold-calling days. In today’s world, you need to approach your customers as their consultant. Someone who is going to benefit them by helping them decide on the products and service your company is offering.

Consultative selling is defined by American Marketing Association as, “A customized sales presentation approach in which the salesperson is viewed as an expert and serves as a consultant to the customer. The salesperson identifies the prospects’ needs and recommends the best solution even if the solution does not require the salesperson’s products or services.”

The dynamics of today’s marketplace demand that salespeople see the world from their customers’ point of view. Consultative selling is a sales methodology in which salesperson’s focus is shifted from the product or service to the needs of the buyer. So instead of pitching his/her product features and benefits, the salesperson’s effort is focused on the client and his or her goals. Salespeople must shape sales conversations so as to directly address customer needs and expectations to advance the selling process and shorten the cycle time to close business opportunities.

Value creation is the new paradigm for effective sales. In this new sales paradigm, a salesperson must create business value with each and every customer interaction.
Value creation is the key methodology through which salespersons can differentiate themselves in today’s marketplace.

Changing the Focus

Key questions that salespeople ponder before a sales meet are:-

  • How can I get this customer’s business?
  • What do I need to do to convince them we’re best?
  • How can I get the main decision maker to support my proposal?
  • What can we do to get them to buy now?

Instead of the above questions, consultative selling approach requires you to ask yourself the new set of questions: –

  • How can I help my customer be more successful?
  • How can I provide value to my customer?
  • How can my company contribute to making my customer successful?

This change in focus immediately affects the thinking. It’s not about a product or service anymore. It’s not about any particular sales strategy or technique. It is about Value Creation. With a single stroke, all the salespeople would have shifted base from seller’s team to being a virtual part of buyer’s team.

Using this approach, new options and ideas that one never considers will begin to emerge. I think these alternatives can have a dramatic positive impact on salesperson’s relationships with existing and prospective customers.


17 04 2017

Last year I had to make a decision I’d been struggling with for a few years and walk away from a retail job, the job I’d sacrificed most of my 20s and 30s to, the job I had dreamed of excelling in since my graduation.

To say this was a difficult choice would be a massive understatement but it was what was right for me, or the situation or so I believed. I wanted a good life, a regular 9 to 5 with weekends off and a regular ‘worthy’ paycheque. For too long I had felt like someone who was tied to this retail industry, who was constantly overworked, overstressed but I’d lost track of who I was outside this industry. I have held several supervisory positions with little to no growth options, and it was my life for a long time. But it’s clearly not an industry that leaves me with an obvious place to transition.

Another factor was my age. If I was leaving this job behind then I also wanted to leave the industry behind, start afresh entirely and, at 40, I was aware that not only was I getting ancient in terms of entry-level positions but that if I was going to make a success of myself in my new field then I was better off getting started, yesterday. Unfortunately, it has now been over six months since I started in earnest to apply for jobs in different fields, seeking to be reborn on a new career path. With the exception of one interview, I haven’t made it past the checkpoint.

There are a lot of factors at play in this, and in some way, I even have sympathy with the countless employers who have rejected me without even meeting me; unemployment is high in Alberta, particularly in the southern region where I now live. I have no experience that counts, and that I was in retail for so long does negatively affect the quality of my references. But sympathizing with all the reasons that people don’t want to hire me doesn’t actually make the task of job hunting any easier. If anything it makes it worse. I can see why people don’t want to hire a now 40-year-old with no relevant experience, as time passes, I increasingly fail to see why they would.

I imagine this loss of faith in oneself and the growing belief that the ongoing rejections are never going to turn around is common among the unemployed. I just never thought I’d be one of them. Going into this, my biggest concern was that I would have to start at the bottom of the ladder and work my way up. It never occurred to me that I would be unable to get a leg on the first rung. I would now give almost anything for the opportunity to prove my worth in almost any position and at any level. This time last year I was still in the process of leaving the job. It was stressful but it was something I got through by reminding myself how much easier it would be when it was through. I knew, not with cockiness but simply because of the faith I had in myself, that I would find another arena in which to excel. The thought that I may be unemployed and on the cliff of giving up entirely never occurred to me. Among the things I knew about myself is that I am intelligent and hardworking, with many transferable skills that would make me an asset in any number of industries – but I no longer know these things…for sure.

When I think about my unemployed status today these are the things I know: that I may never find anyone willing to hire me; that with every passing day I get a little older and a little less employable and the majority of my intelligent, articulate and sometimes witty cover letters are not even being read. Or perhaps they’re not that witty after all.

I do not feel this every day but there are days where a previously unfamiliar feeling of uselessness and hopelessness do creep over me, and they are demons that I find myself increasingly unable to keep at bay. I never thought this would happen to me. I imagined having to take a job I didn’t necessarily want but no job at all wasn’t anywhere on my radar. I think it’s probably this way for a lot of unemployed individuals. And this is probably the greatest lesson that has come out of this experience: that the idea that people don’t want to work, that the unemployed are somehow lazy or unmotivated, is a ridiculous myth. And yet I still haven’t learned it completely.

I still lie to acquaintances and even family about my employment; make out that I’m doing some casual work to tide me over or make jokes about it because I’m ashamed. I judge myself every day and I’m determined not to let others judge me. There is a stigma attached to unemployment that can be dangerous because I don’t think it would take much for it to create a potentially irreversible self-hatred. I fill my days with routines that involve cooking, walking, cleaning, job applications and strictly try not to watch television during work hours; I’m trying…hard. I am not what the unemployed stereotype looks like but I am unquestionably unemployed and I’m struggling mentally, emotionally and financially every day. I often barely recognize myself.

This is not a story of self-pity, although it has elements of that I’m sure. I feel I’m sacrificing my pride in writing about this. But then very few read my blog :). It’s a lesson to think before you judge because unemployment is hard. If we could just come out and speak about our own struggles with unemployment freely and without shame and stigma, it may just get a little bit easier.


31 01 2017

Why am I always the bridesmaid
Never the blushing bride
Ding Dong Wedding bells,
always ring for other girls
but… some fine day
oh! let it be soon
I shall wake up in the morning
On my own honeymoon

– Anonymous

The Man of Double Deed

16 01 2017
There was a man of double deed,
Who sowed his garden full of seed;
When the seed began to grow,
‘Twas like a garden full of snow;
When the snow began to melt,
‘Twas like a ship without a belt;
When the ship began to sail,
‘Twas like a bird without a tail;
When the bird began to fly,
‘Twas like an eagle in the sky;
When the sky began to roar,
‘Twas like a lion at my door;
When my door began to crack,
‘Twas like a stick across my back;
When my back began to smart,
‘Twas like a penknife in my heart;
And when my heart began to bleed,
‘Twas death, and death, and death indeed.
                                                         By Anonymous


29 09 2016

Donald Trump has spent much of his U.S. presidential campaign whipping up racial fear. Regardless of whether he wins in November, he has empowered angry white voters.

Republicans have deliberately made identity politics and racial resentment their issue because that’s what appeals to older, poorly educated white male Americans, and that’s their base now. But by not even trying to expand that base, they may have found a sure way to take an election that was theirs to lose — and lose it.

It’s a big reason why Democrats, seeking a third consecutive term in the White House with a historically unpopular nominee, Hillary Clinton, have consistently polled better than Trump.

There will be a temptation to blame a defeat on Trump personally and to foresee a day when his message might be delivered by a more polished, less vulgar candidate who could, in fact, become president.

I think, Trump’s personal weaknesses are not the real problem for Republicans — it’s their reliance on an old formula that doesn’t work anymore.

Trump has lured Republicans in a trap they laid for themselves decades ago when they began appealing to white anxiety. Identity politics has gone from being a winner for Republicans since Richard Nixon and his “southern strategy” of exploiting racial resentment, and evolved into a winner for Democrats in today’s more diverse America.

Identity politics now works better for Democrats because it allows voters to ignore the flaws in the party and unite instead against what they reject about the Republicans.

When Trump launched his campaign with his speech about “Mexican rapists” he thrilled his strong believers and began sealing the presidential nomination.

Whether Trump has put Republicans on a losing track for November or will somehow beat the odds and economize a win is what the campaign will decide over the next several weeks. But his lasting impact will be what he would do and destroy all that was left of what we once knew as the Republican Party — The Party of Abraham Lincoln.