In Search of a Better World

In Search of a Better World
Soul Searcher

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


Pizza Delivery girls for Domino's do not have some close relationship with the people who order Pizzas. They probably don't even remember them. So, when delivery girl Susan realized that a particular elder woman had mysteriously stopped ordering pizzas. What reason, did she even have to notice? Maybe somebody opened a Pizza Hut nearby. Maybe the lady stopped eating Pizzas.
But on a hunch, Susan drove out to the lady's house. She banged on the door. No answer. She banged on a window. Nothing. Finally she got a neighbor to call 911.
Stop and think about how foolish she would have looked if she were wrong here. Maybe the lady was just on vacation, maybe she had just run out to the store, maybe she would be furious that a stupid pizza delivery driver was nosing into her business. But when the cops came and forced the door, there was the old lady, lying where she had fallen three days earlier, unable to get to a phone.
No one else had checked on her, and no one else was going to. Except for pizza delivery woman Susan who had every right in the world to just shrug and go on with her day.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Saturday, July 19, 2014

An American in Hollywood

An American in Hollywood tells the story of the Trials and Tribulations a young band of wannabe’s chasing their Hollywood dream. It tells the story well and you do identify with their troubles and terrors.

What’s good about it- The story telling is great. The plot weaves seamlessly into the “boysie” talk commentary which is told through a stand-up comedy show and a “girlsie” gossip session which provides a cynical commentary on the plot.

The music is awesome and rhymes so unobtrusively into the script that by the time you understand what the songs were telling you and realize how well it was done you are into the next scene.

The cast live parts and that’s all you can ask for.

What could have been better: The editing could have been more raspy and crisp for a movie like this. The dissolves and fade outs did not work for me. The superhero analogy was a good idea as was the voice-over but was a bit overdone.

Final Verdict- The sincerity of the intent and the hard work shows through the lack of money and somewhat tacky look of the film. What shines through is the heart and soul of the film and the unique story telling style. If this is not enough Azur-De provides the “Drool Value”. Go watch it, cheer for the independent movie makers and your dollars would be well spent.

Message- All you wannabes'... Pursue your dream. Even if you do not get as far you dreamed, the journey will be worth it. As the soundtrack says "If you got this far..." Go watch the movie and live the dreams you've hidden in your closets

Way to go V-TwinZ…You ROCK

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The simple art of collaboration

There once was a farmer who grew award-winning corn. Each year he entered his corn in the state fair where it won the best "Corn Grower Award".  As the years passed it was observed that the
  • ·         Farmer was getting a better yield and continuing to improve the quality of corn
  • ·         Difference between the yield and quality of the award winning farmer and his neighbours was coming down and the neighbours were catching up
  • ·         The coming years would no longer be a one horse race
  • ·         Overall production from the area had more than doubled and the quality of corn had also improved significantly 
  • Researchers attributed it to the soil, rainfall and general climate but this did not satisfy one particularly persistent researcher who discovered that the award winning farmer shared his seed corn with his neighbours. 
  • "How can you afford to share your best seed corn with your neighbours when they are entering corn in competition with yours each year?" the researcher asked.

"Why sir," said the farmer, "didn't you know? The wind picks up pollen from the ripening corn and swirls it from field to field. If my neighbours grow inferior corn, cross-pollination will steadily degrade the quality of my corn. If I am to grow good corn, I must help my neighbours grow good corn."

This simple farmer had learnt and implemented the art of sharing much before the management gurus of the world started marketing “collaboration” as a strategic initiative.

If we are to germinate and implement good ideas we work with those around us to help them do the same as cross pollination of ideas leads to greater innovation. 

As it is with farming and business so it is with our lives. Those who choose to live in peace must help their neighbours to live in peace. Those who choose to live well must help others to live well, for the value of a life is measured by the lives it touches. And those who choose to be happy must help others to find happiness, for the welfare of each is bound up with the welfare of all.

·         This is an anonymous story which I have adapted to suit the context of today.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Those were the days my friend

Long long ago I was tagged by Maradhi Manni to share the music I like. I thought that the best way to return to the blogosphere was to compile a list of my favourites from English Music from the days gone by.

I would start with “Imagine” by John Lennon which delivers a timeless message in the typical Lennon Style.
John Denver had a unique way of delivering country music in a way which really struck a chord with listeners like me and this one though not about the country is a nice love song.
Johnny Cash was another voice I grew up with and the stories and ballads he sang are still with me. Man In Black was one of the more sombre of his ballads and I am including this over the “Boy Named Sue” simply because the content is more universal.
Harry Belafonte had a unique way of singing and for me any song of his was a masterpiece. I am picking this one because it perhaps typifies his singing style.
Another of the legends whose music I grew up with was Bob Dylan who was not only an icon but was also a thought leader. This song became part of the church singing and is as relevant today as it was when Dylan sang it for the first time. This one may take some time to get used to but the lyrics are awesome.
This is another song which I love simply because of the eerie voodoo type music from Santana. This is cover of a Fleetwood Mac song but the guitar here is just too good.
Dean Martin was another of my boyhood heroes a and I loved the way he drooled over his own music.
No compilation can be complete without a Beatles number but I like all of them so much that it is difficult to pick one.
Other groups I really liked were ABBA, OSIBISA, the Carpenters and Led Zeppelin but I am going to give them a miss for Pink Floyd just because this song was such a rage and and it has great lyrics as well as lovely music.
Finally I will end with a beautiful song about a trip down memory lane which is triggered by a restaurant called Trincas in Calcutta which had a pub called the Tavern.

These typify the English Music which I liked and still enjoy. Another day and another time I would do a similar one for Hindi, Tamil and Bengali. Let me know if you liked them.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Our perception of Problems

One fine day, a bus driver went to the bus garage, started his bus, and drove off along the route. No problems for the first few stops - a few people got on, a few got off, and things went generally well.At the next stop, however, a big hulk of a guy got on. Six feet eight, built like a wrestler, arms hanging down to the ground. He glared at the driver and said, " Big John doesn't pay!" and sat down at the back.

Did I mention that the driver was five feet three, thin, and basically meek?Well, he was. Naturally, he didn't argue with Big John, but he wasn't happy about it. The next day the same thing happened - Big John got on again, made a show of refusing to pay, and sat down. And the next day, and the next.

This grated on the bus driver, who started losing sleep over the way Big John was taking advantage of him. finally he could stand it no longer. He signed up for body building courses, karate, judo, and all that good stuff. By the end of the summer, he had become quite strong; what's more, he felt really good about himself.

So on the next Monday, when Big John once again got on the bus and said, " Big John doesn't pay!"The driver stood up, glared back at the passenger, and screamed, " And why not?"With a surprised look on his face, Big John replied, " Big John has a bus pass.

"Moral" Be sure there is a problem in the first place - before working hard to solve one. Another way of looking at it is "IF in doubt ASK"

Life is too short to be worrying about problems and issues which are irrrelevant or non-existent

Monday, March 23, 2009

This time your hurting won't heal

Hello everyone!
A small story that tells you what happens when you hurt someone else.
All of us do it knowingly or unknowingly.
Let us stop hurting others.

Here is your monday morning story for the week.

When I confronted my friend after she hurt a colleague, she cried and immediately wanted to apologize. That was a good thing, but I wanted her to know an apology can't always make things better.

I told her the parable of Will, a 9-year-old whose father abandoned his mom two years earlier. Will was angry, and he often lashed out at others with hurtful words. He once told his mom, "I see why Dad left you!"

Unable to cope with his cruel outbursts, she sent him to his grandparents for the summer. His grandfather's strategy to help Will learn self-control was to make him go into the garage and pound a two-inch-long nail into a four-by-four board every time he said a mean thing.

For a small boy, this was a major task, and he couldn't return until the nail was all the way in. After about ten trips to the garage, Will began to be more cautious about his words. Eventually, he even apologized for all the bad things he'd said.

That's when his grandmother stepped in. She told him to bring in the board filled with nails and instructed him to pull them all out. This was even harder than pounding them in, but after a huge struggle, he did it.

His grandmother hugged him and said, "I appreciate your apology, and of course I forgive you because I love you, but I want you to know an apology is like pulling out one of these nails. Look at the board. The holes are still there. The board will never be the same. Your dad put a hole in you, Will, but please don't put holes in other people. You're better than that."

Story credited to Michael Josephson

Friday, March 20, 2009

Provoking rudeness and discourtesy

I had to make a quick trip abroad last week and travelled Air India on one of their long range flights. I have travelled with them before and was quite apprehensive about the service and courtesy of the crew. My expectations were rock bottom and as usual they did not disappoint.
However, this time around I understood why their service and attitudes are below par. It has a lot to do with the passengers they manage and the stress they undergo each time they fly.

I was seated near the front row where there is a provision for a bassinet (baby cot) for infants. This needs to be booked earlier and the passenger has to buy an infant ticket for the kid. There were 4 baby cots and 8 infants in our wing. No sooner had we settled than a free for all broke out between the haves and the have-nots even though the have-nots had not bought infant tickets or booked the bassinet. Some of them offered to “pay more” and the arguments delayed take off by about 20 minutes. The best was the parents of a 3 year old wanted to know why larger cots could not be provided for bigger kids!

When the dust had settled we were onto the safety demonstration. I recall at least three groups of persons screaming in the middle that they wanted to change seats to be with their friends and relatives.

Once the plane took off, the cabin crew was being summoned every 10 seconds on some pretext or another. If that was not enough we had a drunk in the rear of the aircraft who chose an opportune moment to regurgitate a sample of what he had consumed over his neighbours. Fortunately for me I was seated far enough to be away from the mess and near enough for a ring side view!! (The same guy was hollering about 5 hours later on why he could not be served his daily dose.

The effect of this definitely told on the crew. A few classics from the air hostesses…
One of them was having difficulty in shutting the overhead bins and I offered to help. While thanking me she had to add “The limit for cabin baggage is 7 kgs and see how much these guys (a euphemism for the word actually used) stuff in their bags. What do they think; we are weight lifters or what?”

Another classic was when a first time traveler seated on the row behind me asked help to unfasten the seat belt. The response was “You are worse than children; why did you not pay attention during the safety demonstration?”

Another time, on another flight I would have been far more critical of the crew but this time I thought that by all counts we passengers got what we deserved.

Just think about it , if this is what the Air India cabin crew goes through every day, little wonder that they are hassled jumpy and rude most of the time. When you want to take you must be willing to give. Bad behaviour and failure to respect others only provokes rudeness

Monday, March 9, 2009

BACK in MUMBAI- Reality Check

Back in Mumbai after a long gap and if things work out the way I have planned. Hopefully I should be here for 3 -4 months and this will give me time for a lot of long pending catch up work…

Within days of returning, I was treated to a really harsh dose of “Reality Check”. I was driving listening to ‘JAI HO” with the RJ on going about AR Rahman and how much Slum Dog was doing to focus on the lives of the less fortunate in Dharavi.

Just the I stopped at a busy traffic signal where two beggar women with a child were squabbling over a child. Soon a man joined the fracas and before you could say “Slum Dog Millionaire” they were beating each other and even started throwing stones..

Normal eh!

What shocked me even more was my own reaction. I ensured that I moved my car out of the way of the stones being hurled and saw in my rear view mirror that the good Mumbai cop had stepped in to separate and mollify the combatants. Seeing that peace was about to prevail I just drove on about my normal business.

I guess it is the callousness of guys like me which aggravates the situation. Suggestions from any of my fellow bloggers on a more humane reaction to the situation would be welcome

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Is Indo-PaK Coexistence so difficult

Friendship between Indians and Pakistanis
Myth , Pipe-Dream or a Distant Reality

While watching CNN last night I saw a commercial for Mobilink which is the advertisement they run in Pakistan. Take 3 minutes to watch it and I am sure you will be struck as I was that this commercial would strike the same chords in any part of India. I also loved the song "hum Bolen Mohabat ki Zubaan" and I hope you like it too

As I searched “you tube” to share this with my blogging world, I found several others all of which show that while selling to us Advertisers appeal to the same emotions and touch the same chords. Somewhere deep down I believe we are one people. A one minute clip is linked below:

I know it is hard for those who lost near and dear ones in 26/11 or for the relatives of those brave soldiers who lost their lives in 1965, 1971 or in Kargil.

I personally think these are wedges and differences, canyons and chasms between our countries created largely by self serving politicians, greedy warmongers and corrupt generals which now look as if they cannot be bridged.

We look the same, we talk the same, we share the same roots and culture and yet we have drifted so far apart we are left with only hatred, revenge and suspicion. Things perhaps will never improve but some where in the not too distant past something went horribly wrong and none of us did anything to correct it.

However, I still have memories of a packed Chennai stadium giving the Pakistan team a standing ovation as they did their lap of honour after they beat India in a test match. I also remember the hype of Chandigarh laid out the red carpet for a Visiting Pakistan team. And Finally I remember an entire Pakistani stadium chanting Balajeee, Balajeee, Balajeee during an Indian visit to Pakistan as well as the hospitality extended to the entire team during the visit.

In my travels abroad I have bonded with a Pakistani or an Afghan co traveller just because we share the same passion for Dal and roti and go scouring the streets to see if we can find a place which will give us one irrespective if the Chef is Indian, Pakistani , Akghan or Arab...

I think we can still mend fences.

Peace is always preferred to War and or am I too idealistic.

I wonder if we can ever open the gates of the mind

or will the sentries of "prejudice and mistrust" rule and guard as always ….