Friday, February 13, 2009


Last night I was watching the movie "The Shawshank Redemption" for the 2nd time. 1st time I watched this movie 7 years back.That time I had wondered that why is this movie rated the best ever. No doubt that movie is brilliant but is it best ever. Last night , I watched this movie again to get an answer to the doubt I had in mind.

For those who have not watched this movie,its about a person who is wrongly convicted for life for double murder and he escapes the high security prison after spending 20 long years there.Seems to be an average storyline, but it's definitely  not.This movie depicts and celebrates human spirit ,in a way, no other has ever done.It show that "hope" indeed is the most beautiful thing in life.

Hope is the guiding light of life.Hope impacts our life more than anything including love. Hope is the light for life and its absence is not only depression but complete darkness.

In this movie the main protagonist is convicted of murder of his wife and her paramour. He is given double life sentence and land in a very high security prison. Anyone would have resigned to his fate at this juncture. But he didn’t. He had some thing which others don't have.He had a hope,a dream that one day he will get out of there and live his rest of his life leisurely at a beautiful seashore town in Mexico. A dream that was impossible for him to realize. But he didn't give up.For twenty years he slowly dug a tunnel inside jail's wall with a hammer not bigger than his palm. For twenty years he used to dig handfull of stones every night.Just in the hope that one day he might get a chance to escape.And man...he did escape.He dreamed what no other prisoner had ever dreamed and he achieved it too.He didn't escape like a macho hero ,who is so powerful that prison’s wall can not contain him.He escaped like a mouse from a tunnel which took him twenty years to dig. And that too didn't guarantee him a escape but just a chance and hope.
In a letter the protagonist writes," Hope is a beautiful thing,perhaps the most beautiful thing.And no beautiful thing ever dies".

Indeed Hope is the most beautiful thing.It is perhaps the most important thing in life. It's this hope which give rise to dreams.The hope of making those dreams come true give us reason enough to live.Hope of seeing light gives us energy to walk in the darkest of nights.Without hope we could have stopped walking and those who don't walk are just better than dead.They are zombies. And its not the zombies who drive this world forward. They are the drag force on the forward movement of world.

There was a psychologist (whose name I don't remember) who did a research on the holocaust survivors.And he reported that its not the physical strength of those survivors that made them survive hardship of Concentration camp while million others died.Infact they were as physically strong as the rest of population who perished.He found that the only thing different in these people from the rest of population was that they had a better vision of ther future.Infact they were better day dreamers.It is this hope that life will be better again one day made them survive while others died for hunger and disease ( I am not talking about those who were physically killed).

After the movie I tried to imagine myself without hope.To my terror I was dead in my imgination.I tried to imagine world without hope.And I saw each of us still residing on trees.

Now I realize why this movie is considered greatest.I also realized that many persons saw its greatness much before I did.I realized that there are many who are ahead of me in many respect.But I  hope that one day there won't be one.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

The God of manufacturing

***** This article is about the Supplier development policies of Toyota and its implementation in Indian context.It's not about "Just in Time" production method.

It is said that God is always right.
You cannot question God ,because he is the ultimate truth.
I have been facing a similar situation since I joined my company.
Since the first day I have been hearing ....Toyota....Toyota....Toyota and in between it's Japan....Japan...Japan.
True that Toyota is the best automobile company of the world.Its the most efficient and profitable and a benchmark for the rest of the world to follow.

But is it right to assume that Toyota is the God of manufacturing and its policies will be successful in every region and situation of the world.
We underwent a training on supplier management and was told that Toyota indeed is the God.Any question which questioned the applicablity of Toyota policy was frowned upon by the Trainer.It was like we were children being taught what is right and what is wrong.

I hate this type of attitude. I hate those who try to shape my thoughts but refuse to discuss the issues openly.I didn't get the chance to discuss the applicabity of Toyota's supplier development policies in totallity in India in the training and I want to discuss it here.

The world always worships rising SUN.Few decades back it was the big three ie...GM,FORD and CHRYSLER who were the role models for the manufacturing.They were worshiped and imitated.They were arrogant and refused to change with time.Time got ahead of them and the result is for every body to see.

No theory or practice can be said to be the best for all times.They need to be changed with time to be in snyc with the current world.Otherwise they are doomed. Similarily,no theory or practice can be said to be applicable at every place in the same way.What has been successfull in Japan can be a sure shot success in India or US.Even in Japan ,what has been successful for Toyota may not bring same results for Honda or Nissan or Mazda.There is nothing absolute in this world.Every thing needs to be customized according to time and place.

Japan is a diffent type of place.It's society defies every conventional theory of interaction in a society.Honest to the core,hard working to the extreme and faithfull to an absurd limit......its citizens could be a role model for the world.And like Jews ,the Japanese have the sympathy of the whole world for being a victim of the nuclear bomb.In addition to this the Americans till now wanted to prevent the re-militrization of Japan at any cost.Even if it means giving it undue advantages in trade and commerce.The result was that in 1960's and 70's the Japanese would export every thing to America and Europe giving almost no duties.The Japanese govt subsidized every export oriented industry and the world looked the other way.
The Japanese govt have always promoted co-operation among its industries and the industries have welcomed the government interference happily.This is against the spirit of free market practise. Rest of world actively discourages the co-opeartion between big companies to prevent unfair trade practices.The companies too loathe the interfernce of govt in their activites.This has resulted in a huge advantage to the Japanese companies.Such a practice in any other part of the world will lead to the formation of cartels and result in trade manipulation.It will also lead to increased inefficiency in the companies because of govt interference.After all the companies work according to the market demands whereas govt woks on the public demand. I don't need to write about the Indian govt.Instead of economics they will try to enforce their agenda of social justice if given sufficient command over the industries.

The culture of Japan too suits the policies of Toyota.The Japanese are extremely loyal to their companies and the companies return the loyality by ensuring life time employment and many other benefits unheard of in our world.Lay offs are unheard of in japan.The electronic company Sony was in deep financial trouble but it has so far refrained from any worker lay offs.

The spirit of co-operation among the Japanese is praise worthy.They will extend helping hand to even their compititors who are in trouble.Honesty runs in their blood.Have u ever heard of a scam in Japan.The Japanese society is honest and they will do their job with full honesty.
Till now japanese have sold every thing to the world ,but they simply refuse to consume anything produced by others.This is the reality.An average Japanese will go for a costly and poor quality Japanese product rather than a cheap and high quality forign product.This irrationality in behaviour is because of nationalism which runs deep in their blood.
It is in this backdrop toyota has evolved its famed toyota manufacturing system.

Does that situation prevails in India.Only an insane person will say ..yes.
We are very different from Japan.Our mental state and physical infrastructure are completely different.Forget a life employment,our automotive companies throw out their line staff every six months to prevent IR issues.Forget co-operation between the vendors and OEMs.Here even ancilliary units and OEMs are suspicious of each other.Forget employee loyality,here the management and the labour unions behave as if they are enimies of each other.
Neither our company's scale of operation nor our govt policies are similar to Toyota and Japanese govt.

There could be two ways of bringing in the improvement in the companies.One could be by encouraging compitition among them.Tell every one fight it out in the market and the fittest will survive.The weak and the unfit will be out of the market sooner or latter.They will merge with the better performers or will be aquired by them.
The other way could be by co operation.Let the companies co operate and teach the weaker and inefficient ones how to improve.On principle its very egaliterian and right.But the sad truth is that nature has not made us to behave in such a way. Nature allows survival of the fittest only.Be it in the jungles or in the market.Any other policy deviaiting from it cannot be sustained in the long run.The communist realized it after 70 yrs of experimentation.

We have to choose which way we want to go.
Toyoyta's policy are good but a lot of deliberation needs to be done on the how to Indianize it.
Its implementation in the Japanese form is nothing but an invitation to trouble.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

The necessity of being rich

"Always remember that money is not everything,but make sure that you have made a lot of it before talking such non sense"
- Bill Gates.

A very practical quote from a person who has the maximum amount of one of the most controversial things in this world....that is money. Deng Xiaoping once said..." Its glorious to be rich". Now the spiritual gurus say that lust for money is the source of maximum unhappiness in this world.In my friend circle also I always hear friends saying that money is not very important in life,but I never had any shame in accepting that I want to be rich beyond imagination. Many times it gives an impression that I am a materialistic person and I have lust for money. Yeah I want to have lot of it ,but never had the lust for money.
Afterall who is right "Deng Xiaoping or the spiritual gurus".I my opinion none of them.Both represent the extreme side of the veiws. Money definitely is important. In economy it is the means through which you can buy the things you want.Having moneys means having the ability to buy material things and services. The more money you have ..the more material possesion you can aquire.And the truth is that for a good quality life you need many of those much maligned material things.True that love and happiness are the two most important things that make up a good life.

You need someone whom you can live need a family whose happiness will make you happy many times over.You need affection from your friends and relatives.All these are the main things which make a life happy.These things cannot be bought using money.You cannot purchase true cannot purchase affection.But...but having money means you have enough energy left to love your loved ones.You don't have to worry for the basic needs of your family. Money gives you the power to fullfil those desires of your loved ones which your love alone cannot fullfill.

First of all money enables you the access to best of all the necessary things one needs in life,be it the best education,the best medical treatment ,a nice house etc etc.
We are a social animal and others veiw of us is also important to us.I hate to accept it but except for a very minusicule minority ,every one cares for others opinion about them.And the way how society looks at you is in a major way decided by the amount of money,power,name and fame you have.Thats the way this society works and it will do so in milleniums to come.Because this is how nature has made us. Its in the instinct of every creature to be in awe and fear of the powerful.In case of humans it is the money,name ,fame which translates into power.Unlike animal,physical strenght have little meaning for us. Having money gives you a status in the society ,it gives you many friends ( most of them not true friends,but still you need them ). And most importantly it gives you the confidence to deal with the society on your own terms.It gives us a sense of secuity which helps to keep your mental frame positive.You don't need to worry about the material things.
Whatever I have written may be awkward to many,but you would better understand my point if you look for examples around yourself. My short life have given me my fair share of happiness and sorrow.I have closely interacted with many persons. Some of them really affluent and some in dire financial constraints. And I have seen the difference money brings in our personal and social life. The society behaves like a chamelion.....only going after the rich and trying to get away of the not so rich......and it quickly changes colour when the not so rich becomes rich. You suddenly find that people who avoided you now want to befriend you. Money brings with it a very enhanced social acceptability.And no one can deny this. The way society behaves with you cannot be decided by the love and affection you shower on them. If you are really good with everyone but sadly you are poor.....sorry friend.. people will like you but they will never be comfortable with you .....never accept you as their own.
One thing I have always believed is that if you want to help someone,you should be capable of doing that.You can change the life of those around you and of whole humanity in a much more effective way if you have the power ,influence and money.Today Bill gates is changing the life of millions of persons with his foundation and he has not changed his life style much.He still enjoys a good life.There are mllions of people who want to change the world,who have left their cozy jobs and lifes to venture into villages and war torn area but none of them have done what the money of Bill melinda gates foundation has done.Even to be a philanthrophist you need money.

I have no hesitation in accepting that money has got lot of importance in life and I fully endorse the quote of Bill Gates..... " Money is not everything but make sure that you make lot of it before saying such a non sense ".
The question which always comes in my mind is how much... few lakhs...a couple of millions...few billions..or ...few trillions.Very difficult question to answer.The problem is that with money the law of diminshing marginal utility doesnot apply.Its upto you to decide how much is sufficient.What I feel is that no amount is sufficient but with a condition that in earning more and more of it neither you nor your loved ones should suffer.
Money does not have diminshing marginal utility but it has a break even point. A time comes when the happiness which money brings ( to you and your loved ones ) with it gets outweighed by the unhappiness and lonelyness bought by the effort you put in earning that money. That break even point is different for every one.

Lee Iacocca never worked for more than ten hrs a day but still is one of the most success CEO ever.In his auto biography he has declared his hatred for those who run after money and neglect their family and themselves.But he also declared his love for money.But common people get bogged down by work very quickly......for them its always better to go slow when the breakeven point comes.

"Its always glorious to be rich ,but its more important to love ,be loved and happy."
- Naman Sinha

I think last line of mine is more important than the quote of Bill Gates which is there at the begining of the blog.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Dreams of a slave.....

A few days back I was watching a programme about North Korea on the Nat Geo channel.It was rare insight into the life of world's most secretive country.I was amazed to see the respect and admiration that people of North Korea have for their leader Kim Jong 2.The leader who has kept the whole country starving........the leader who is responsible for the execution of millions of innocents ....the leader who has kept his country behind the world by atleast 50 yrs.How can such a person command such a respect and admiration from the very people he so brutally exploits.Is it really respect or is it fear.The narrator too was confused but he had feeling that it indeed was respect.And I was not at all surprized.He is indeed worshiped as god by his people.

The programme made me to remember a brilliant story " THE DREAMS OF MANIK NULLAH " written by my friend Ankur and which was published in the my engg institute's monthly news letter 'N'SCAPE.The story was about a society where everyones dreams( day dreams ) was from chilodhood itself was controlled by the rulers of the society.The rulers,according to their own future needs, made the people to dream .It was decided that which child is going to become what in future and the dreams of that child was modelled on that basis only.It was decided that Manic Nullah would be cobbler when he grows up.And he made to dream of becoming a cobbler.
As a result he strived hard to become a cobbler and ultimately he became one.The story brilliantly showed what could be the result if thoughts and dreams of masses can be controlled.

And this is what is happening in North korea.In that country the dreams and thoughts of whole population is controlled by a single man.Earlier that man was Kim Sung 2 ,now it is Kim Jong 2.
He has total control over every aspect of North Korean life.The population see what he wants them to see,they hear what he wants them to hear and they feel what he wants them to feel.Imagine the thought process of such a person who has been exposed to such a propoganda throughout his life since childhood.

According to psychological research ,the perception which a child forms till the age of 12-13 persists for whole life unless the person has got very high analytical ability which is generally not the case.

Imagine generations after generations of children being taught daily that their leader is their god ...he is always right ...he is the absolute.Imagine whole population growing and leading their life surounded by this propoganda.Its not surprizing that the North koreans have got so much of admiration for such a cruel leader.Kim jong has ensured that those who deviate in their dreams and thoughts are quickly eliminated or segregated from the society.He has also used fear as a supplemntary weapon to ensure his greatness.It a crime to talk anything against Kim even in private and is punishable by life imprisionment for the whole family of the accused.In north korea the TV and radio does not have tunners so that the people don't get to see or listen to other channels except those of the government.
I think Saddam Hussain should have learnt something from North Korean leaders.

Looking at the dreams,I realize that even in a free society our dreams are not exactly our own.But in such a society the dreams are fashioned by the collective society not a particular a individual.Here also there is a soft propoganda.If society needs more Engineers or docs they glorify that profession in the mind of children.And the child starts dreaming of becoming one.This is the reality all over the world.

But the big question is that whether a person will be able to lead a happy life if his dreams are not his own.We need to think over it.
Most probably my next blog will be on this topic only.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Opium of Masses............

Karl Marx once famously said ......." Religion is the opium of Masses".
And my experience with the religion compels me agree with his view point.
Thousand years ago what started as a mission to civilize the Barbaric human society has become an instrument of converting humans into barbaric beings.At that time there was no civilized society , no constitution , no I P C and no competent rulers. That society was just different from the animal kingdom which we nowadays see in the Animal planet.The vacuum of rule of law was
quickly filled by the pagan religions.It started with human societies worshiping things which they where afraid of. Thus started the worshiping of sun, thunderbolts, rain ,beasts etc.Then came the concept of a higher authority which has control over all our actions and can punish us in the present life or in the after life. All the religions evolved from here. Then came the modern religions which exist today.The new religions where more ordered and brought more stability to the societies. The fusion of politics with these religions which made them a force to reckon with. Soon the whole world was brought down to its knees by them.With these religion the religious fundamentalism which was present earlier too got institutionalized. The world thereafter was dominated by the Politico-religious movements . Only few non political religions like Hinduism and Buddhism could survive this great on onslaught.

But do we need these religions nowadays in this modern world.The debate was first started by the famous statement of Karl Marx. Has the human society advanced beyond the religious limits. Are the religions a stumbling block in our further development.
The basic need for the religion to exist in the society does not exist today. Now our social structure is far more better that the founders of the great religions could have envisioned.
Instead of bringing peace to the society these religions are bringing conflict.
Socially too it has become a mental block. Now its the time to remove this block.But its easier said than done. Because our society is under the influence of the opium. Its is too high under its influence to understand these things. Go to any religious function and u will realize this. The dedication of the men in the prayer will make u laugh.
The rituals there will make even the most barbaric culture seem modern in comparison.
What do people expect from god after participating in those barbaric rituals.
Will god become happy with u if u cry "god is great" or" bhagwan ki jay". If god really exist then I don't think that he will be flattered by this great sycophancy.He will be flattered by ur right action, ur good way of life.

As already stated ,the big question is "whether religion has lost its importance".
This question is dealt with in a right way in the novel Da Vinci Code.
Its true that religion started as a stabilizing force and ended up as a disrupting force, but still world needs a god, a religion and a divine force which can guide them if the need doesn't need the politico religious movements whose only aim is to glorify some individuals or god.
We need a religion which doesn't attaches politics to itself ,whose only aim is to bring peace to this materialistic world and provide strength to those in need.
In fact a world without spiritualism would be a skeleton without flesh over it.Lets change the religion in a way which suites us.Today all of us follow the religion which suited the society thousands years ago.These religions are totally out of sync with modern world. We need to take the element of politics out of the religions and steer it towards spirituality. We need to have religion which makes a god out of every individuals, not just glorify somebody as god when in reality he too was a common man like us.

In short we need to customize the religions to our need or just see them fading into the oblivion.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The illusive girl ..........

Online chatting is a craze among youngsters. In the computer center of my institute u will find that more than half of the boys are chatting with some Tina , Mina, Priya so on.
Some use their original ID and some fake or proxies.But one thing is common among them, they have a craze for girls.Most of them have come from a back ground where they didn't had an interaction with the girls. Most thought nothing except studies in their school. Some of them where really lucky to reach here and some really... really unlucky enough to land in this institute. But the craze for girls is same in all of them.The matter is aggravated further by the fact that there is no girl in our batch and this make the boys to look outside for some flirting and fun.Net is better than any other place for this purpose.And orkut and messenger are just customized for this purpose.
There are boys who are bold enough to approach the girls and there are boys who just roam around the girls in their friend's friend list like bees around their hives. This has created a short of cold war among those belonging to the first category and the second category. The bold boys do all the kill and the others like vulture wait for the remains.
There has been few success story in this online romance. One nice boy got hooked to a nice girl from distant Maharastra. Every thing went fine, the jan pahchan grew into love and even their where plans for marriage , but only then the girl asked for boys photograph.The demand was met and after that he never heard again from that girl.
Some others where lucky enough that their romance didn't go that further. One of my close friend set a date for himself. She came ,but along with another girl. That was a nice package. Set one and get one free. He never told us that what happened to him during the date.May be he feels that we might grow envious.That girl still calls up the boy to look for another date dinner but he turns down each offer. May be he got his quota full at the first time itself,but it is unlikely and and the reasons are for u to guess.
The world is full of such examples.This makes me to think over the future of relationships in these communities.
Can they be substitute for the interaction in the real world.I think it is highly unlikely.
These online interaction is not the permanent solution. They are just a place for frustrated youngsters to relieve some of their frustration. How can u have real friendship with a person u have never met,never seen and never felt.
After all we aren't even sure that the girl with whom I am chatting is really a girl or not.May be he is a boy in disguise of girl. The search for a friend ( no matter girl or boy) should start from the real world.There u have a higher chance of meeting the right person.
May be u can take the help of latest technology in ur great endeavor.
The right place to look for one is in ur surrounding.
But my Insti friends should be forgiven for taking the direct short cut. The reason being ....u need to have one in ur surrounding to up look to. Unlucky boys..............

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Why Muslims should themself dismantle the mosques at Mathura and Kashi.

This winter vacation I went on a trip to Agra and Mathura.
The two places which are completely distinct from one other or I would say diametrically opposite to each other. One was the center of Islamic power for over three hundred years and The other one of the major cultural center for Hindus since the begining of the Hindu culture. The difference was clearly visible.
While Agra stood in its magnificent glory , Mathura stood defaced and humiliated.
What a stark contrast.
The Moti masjid adjacent to the place of the birth of Lord Krishna tells the whole story.
Mathura is one of the holiest place for the Hindus and destruction of the temple their amounted to the humiliation of the whole Hindu community.Though I will never advocate the forcible removal of the mosque from there ,but I strongly feel that it would be good if the Masjid is removed from that place by Muslims themselves. By now u must be thinking that I share the views of like of Praveen Togadia and company. But the fact is that my views are not guided by some religious jeleosity or madness. I am advocating what is right for India's future ,our future.
From the time when Mahmud Ghazni started plundering of Hindu temples( for whatever reasons) till the death of the great tyrant Aurangzeb, Hindu temples have been razed to ground . Throughout this Islamic rule over a Hindu India ,the rulers made it a point to suppress the Hindus( again for whatever reasons).This treatment of Hindus has created a rift between the Hindu and the Muslim community.The communal tension which we see nowadays is not a result of the actions of some Narendra Modi or RSS but is a direct result of the bad blood which has always existed between the two religions in India. The Muslim rulers had scant regard for the religious sentiments of others.Now I don't want to discuss the crimes perpetrated by the rulers.If u are ignorant about history then please refer to some good history book( but not those written by some communist).The names of Babur and Aurangzeb should find a special place in this discussion.Their acts have made a scar on the Hindu mindset which will not go easily. The destruction of the Ram temple by Babur and the cruel rule of the great Aurangzeb altered the mindset of the Indian society for ever. Somnath temple was destroyed and rebuilt six times in a span of 700 hundred years.No community however peaceful can tolerate such deliberate humiliation of their Gods. Ayodhya and Mathura are to Hindus what Mecca and Medina are to Muslims. Can a Muslim( no matter how tolerant he is) sit quite if same treatment is meted out to their religious places by say...United States of America. They are making such a hue and cry over the hanging of Saddam Hussein.The protest is not because Saddam Hussein was innocent but because he has been hanged by an aggressor of some other religion. The whole Islamic umah was up in arms when one newspaper printed a photograph of The Prophet .And when it comes to respecting others sentiments they destroy the Bamiyan , The Somnath ,The Ram Mandir and kill innocent people in Sudan and single out non Muslims for ill treatment in Afghanistan and so on.
The point is that why should Muslims themselves dismantle the mosques in Mathura and Kashi.I am not a religious person but still I strongly feel that those two places rightly belong to the Hindus. The whole foundation of religion is based on belief and my Muslim brothers too would agree with me on this point.Hence if Hindus have the strong belief over these place then it makes those places important for them.As I said earlier those places are the most holy sites in the Hindu religion.But whats the importance of those two mosques for the Muslims. They are like any other place of worship for them. Mecca is special for Muslims because they believe that Prophet was born there.But like Hindus they too believe that god is every where.Hence even if the mosques at those two places are shifted to some nearby places then it would not make much difference for them. But for Hindus it would mean finally getting a place where they can worship their god in the place of his birth.

Politically it will have far reaching change on our society. The Hindu hardliners will be left powerless without an issue .
But the most important thing would be undoing the some misdeeds of our past rulers like Babur and Aurangzeb. It could begin the process of heeling of the wound of Hindu psychology. A wound which has there since past many century and threatens to create problems for our future and India stability.