Wednesday, December 31, 2014

CHERE PERFORMANCE DATA 2014

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Alumni Meet, Nostalgia and How It Connects

Last weekend was a very nostalgic weekend. Having graduated from the college exactly 9.5 years ago, it was deeply moving to meet some of my batch mates (2003-2005) again at the same place. A welcoming invite from the college alumni to attend the first ever alumni meet of our college - Canara Bank School of Management Studies (Central College MBA Department), Bangalore, made our weekend an awesome one! Thanks to some of our amazing bunch of seniors and our dear professors, the program was organized very well and it connected us all back in times that shaped our careers. All of us had something nice to look back and all of us had some nice stories to share. And of course it was fun to look at ourselves after 9.5 years and say oh man, you've changed a lot! ah, look at you - what happened to your hair?! how many jobs have you changed? what's your daughter's name? oh! so you're married!? and so on. We were absolutely thrilled to see some of our seniors whom we hadn't met even during our college days and there were representatives from every batch starting 1998-2000 batch.
We started our discussion with a very interesting question - 
What connects us back to this institution and what comes to your mind when you think of this institution?
A very thought provoking question which tickled our brains to instantly produce some amazing answers. Some of those answers were absolutely hilarious and some were dramatically long. Moderator did his best to keep the answers short. But all of us were in absolute flow to connect back with those beautiful days that shaped our lives. It was absolutely exhilarating for me to connect myself back to those days because it was those 2 beautiful years that turned my life around completely. I certainly would be very different today had I not joined CBSMS and I can only say that I was very lucky.
There is one specific incident that comes to my mind whenever I think of my college. It was during my third semester examination. Harish and I wanted to take a bit of deviation during our internship and we had managed to work on a very interesting project for 3 months in a very big NGO. It was not a easy decision for us to make and some of our friends even tried convincing us not to take any such projects considering the academic interests and scoring pattern in the exams. But we decided to go with it and be different. It was our Professor, M. K. Sridhar encouraged us to take up such challenging projects and he even guided us through our internship project. So we completed our project and were fairly satisfied with the outcome. It was a project on assessing the Quality Management Systems' impact on BAIF Institute for Rural Development and their projects throughout Karnataka.
A few months after we returned from our project, our professor drew our attention to a competition called 'National Social Impact Awards' organized by the SP Jain Institute of Management Research in Mumbai. He recommended us to write a paper on our 3 month internship work. Both of us were quite thrilled to see the call for papers, we worked on the paper and applied for the competition. We were not sure that our paper would make it to the finals given our last minute preparations. To our surprise out of several papers received, the organizers had shortlisted 6 papers and ours was the 6th one. We were in shock and we were equally ecstatic. But we were not sure of participating in the final round because of our third semester exams. We had no time to prepare, go to Mumbai, present our paper and come back. Also the competition dates were in between two exams and we had only 3 days gap between the two exams. So we decided not to go and we started preparing for our exams.
Our professor called us to his cabin one day and asked us if we are all set for the competition. We told him we decided not to go given our examination dates and all the mess. He asked us when is the competition, we gave him the dates. He asked us if it is coinciding with our exam dates. We said No! but it is between our exam dates and is a 3 day gap. He asked us if we participate, will we miss the exam dates? We said not exactly, but we will barely make it to the exam just in time. He immediately said 
so what's the problem here? It is very clear to me that you can write your 1st exam, leave for your competition, present your paper, come back and write your next exam.
Harish and I anxiously stared at each other, took a deep breath, and said, ok, we shall try and booked our train tickets!
We won the 2nd prize at the competition and were very thrilled to win against IIMA and other 4 premium B-Schools. We came back and wrote our exams and luckily we didn't fail either. Not that we did something very extraordinary, but the reason why I always think of this story is very simple. Whatever happened was possible only because I was at my college at the right time. My college gave me the platform to do the project I liked to do, my professor MKS inspired both Harish and I to take up challenging projects, he became our mentor for life; and our project enabled us to look at our own lives very differently; we made several friends for life; we built our professional network; we got into good jobs; we even started our own NGO and enrolled ourselves for a bigger cause; we learnt immensely and set ourselves a direction to move on. And I always think that all this would not have happened if I had not joined this institution. To me, my college was an ecosystem of infinite possibilities. 
This one story is a trailer of what happened to me since the day I joined the college and my life after that. And this was my answer to the question - 'What connects us back to this institution and what comes to your mind when you think of this institution?'

Cheers,
Srikanth

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

What's not on my LinkedIn Profile?

Originally posted on LinkedIn.

Till I joined LinkedIn, I was only worried about updating my profile constantly and make it look better. LinkedIn profile was more like a platform to showcase my professional deeds and make myself look better in the books of prospective managers/ employers. I was not really worried about what's not on my LinkedIn profile! But ever since the day I joined LinkedIn, one question that every new person I meet asks me is 'What's not on your LinkedIn profile?'.
As I entered my Day 1 orientation session, I was absolutely thrilled to listen to some amazing stories and witness abundant talent that a profile cannot showcase completely. It is a very important question that people don't miss asking during introductions. A question that probes people to think for a while and pushes them to share their hidden talent.
Few years ago I came across this interesting quote ~ "first thirty years of your life, you make hobbies; and the next thirty years, hobbies makes you!". I am not sure whose quote it is, but I guess it makes absolute sense. Come to think of it, hobbies are very critical and essential to our lives and they shape our lives as they mature. Cultivating a hobby is as important as acquiring a new competency. Acquiring new interests are even more fascinating. They lead our way for a constructive, meaningful and well balanced life across all the three streams of life - Personal, Professional and Social. More than the balance, they bring in fresh perspectives, different scales of imagination and unlimited learning to supplement our vision for life.
When it comes to things not on my LinkedIn profile, I do have many things to say. I have varied interests and I absolutely love spending time on them. Many people ask me how do I manage time with all the crazy interests I have. And my only answer is - because I am so passionate about things I do, I do not have to manage them. They drive me and they pick me up. There is a quote worth mentioning here, 'If you love your job, you don't have to work ~ Confucius'.
When I work on activities I like, I will be completely engrossed in them. And they define my state of happiness. It is absolutely thrilling to understand psychology behind what happens while performing the activity we like and why we feel high at that moment. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, in his phenomenal work 'Flow-The psychology of optimal experience', says that Flow is a state of involved enchantment that lies between boredom and anxiety. It is the joy, creativity and total involvement with life. And Sir Ken Robinson enlightens us in his inspiring work of 'Element - How finding your passion changes everything' saying being in our element is very important. He defines Element as the meeting point between the natural aptitude and personal passion. It is the place where things you love to do and things you are good at come together. And identifying interests, cultivating hobbies, therefore play a significant role in our lives and perhaps answer some of our self exploratory questions. Perhaps, with time and consistent efforts, some of them may even become game changers in our lives and transform our career.
So, while we are busy updating our LinkedIn profiles with our professional deeds and achievements, it is also important to focus on whats not on our LinkedIn profiles that can bring in plenty of cheer, joy and more power to our profiles! And on day 1 when I walked into the orientation session, I was in complete flow to share about what's not on my LinkedIn profile. To me, what's not on my LinkedIn profile is the driving force behind what's there on my LinkedIn profile. Absolutely!
So, now answer this ~ What's not on your LinkedIn profile?
Cheers, Srikanth
Wonder is the first of all the passions. - Rene Descartes

new life at the farm

Gowri... two days young! :)


Cheers,

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Appreciate Growth, Focus on One, Be Compassionate

Actually this post is a long pending one and thanks to Jeff, who prompted me to post this without any further delay. One of the big wins in my life is to get an offer from LinkedIn and to be part of the awesome Talent Community. It surely has been one of the key decisions in my life considering the fact that I got an opportunity to work with one of the dream companies of mine. Having read both the books of Reid Hoffman, I was very tempted to work for LinkedIn for its inspiring set of culture and values. It has been little over a month at LinkedIn and right from the day one, I have placed myself in a ‘curiosity’ mode and I am truly enjoying the new phase.
Before joining LinkedIn, I had watched several videos of Jeff and have been his fan since then. He is one of the coolest CEOs I have ever seen and listened to. I am fortunate to join him and his efforts of creating a world with immense economic opportunities. I was awe-inspired watching his talk on creating the global economic graph and his vision for LinkedIn for the next 10 years. And after reading Reid’s new book ‘The Alliance’ I was convinced that LinkedIn, with its inspiring set of culture and values and an energetic CEO like Jeff, is one of the coolest companies in the world. (By the way, I had read the book before I joined LinkedIn)
What prompted me to write this post is the recent ‘Fire Side Chat’ with Jeff happened at our LinkedIn office in Sydney, Australia. Jeff answered a lot of questions and one of the answers that got me hooked onto is for the question on ‘fun’. It was absolutely interesting when he said that he likes ‘growth’ everyday and ‘growth’ is fun for him. Jeff went on to the extent of explaining how he likes growth by giving examples of him getting up early in the morning, going to his garden and deeply appreciating the growth of the plants, flowers, the whole garden etc., he likes to see them grow and likewise he likes to see growth around him all the time (everyday, every minute). It was particularly interesting for me because I could easily relate to what he said.  Me being a nature enthusiast, what I observe in nature is the same. It is a natural phenomenon to grow everyday. Nature does not wait for anything; it just follows its cycle. We all see growth all around us and no one can stop it. It takes some effort to appreciate the growth around us and to understand the philosophy behind the same. 
All of us expect ourselves to grow everyday; we like little improvements in everything we deal with on a daily basis.  We always like to see our gardens giving more flower blooms every year; we like to see ourselves moving higher in our career graph; we are always ecstatic to see our bank balances progressing north and we never like to see any graph seeing south.  But calling it ‘fun’ takes a lot of courage and craziness for anyone. And Jeff is surely as crazy as he sounds for sure. 
The next thing he spoke about was focusing ‘one thing at a time’. He said those who have read Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs knows the story of how Apple flourished because of Steve’s philosophy of ‘focusing on one thing at a time’.   Even though Apple had started working on iPad before the iPhone, for a good reason, they had to stop everything they worked on iPad for a long time until they shipped their first iPhone. They never did work on both the things simultaneously. And they became successful and working on ‘one thing at a time’ became their mantra. Investing the whole energy on that ‘one thing’ is the key for any business to flourish. And for that matter, (I should not be saying this given the gamut of things I am part of) every individual will succeed by doing ‘one thing at a time’.
The next thing that was very enticing for me was when Jeff spoke about this interesting topic ~ ‘managing compassionately’. Drawing his experience from his ‘Yahoo’ days, he gave good examples of how he evolved to this philosophy of building a culture of compassion. It takes a lot of courage and honesty to share transformative stories and having heard some of the examples Jeff gave us, made me think that we seldom realize the fact that without ‘compassion’ or ‘being compassionate’, it is very difficult to work with people around us.
Well, I already like this new phase of mine and thrilled to have listened to some awesome stories from the people I admire. I guess the three interesting points listed above are absolutely cool to reflect upon and they are much evident in every success story we come across everyday.
 Cheers,
Srik

Friday, August 15, 2014

welcome

It was a very humid morning when I started from home yesterday to give invitations to the guests attending our NGO's camp - Free Health Camp for Differently Abled - happening this weekend. My first visit was to invite Ms. Pavithra Y.S, CEO of Vindhya eInfomedia. I had spoken to Ms Pavithra early in the morning and because she was traveling, she asked me to drop off the invitation at her office. Also it was a chance for me to visit her place and witness the kind of work they do. 

I troubled one of the senior person who was coordinating with me in her absence to make sure I get the route map to their office right. After 2-3 calls, I finally reached the building and parked my bullet in the parking area. As I reached the reception I started observing a lot of different things that gave me very positive energy. As I took my visitor pass and reached the 2nd floor reception, I opened the door and I was welcomed into the office. The person who welcomed me looked very confident, dynamic and a well trained person to take care of the guests. I was so moved by the welcome that I did not for a moment think that the person was disabled. He was differently abled. It is just that he did not have both his hands. I think that was the most inspiring moment and the most inspiring welcome I got till now in my life. I just came out of the building and cried.

Vindhya eInfomedia is into IT Enabled Services company based out of Bangalore and gives employment to differently abled people. They are an inspiration!

More power to them.

Cheers,
Srikanth

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

all human beings are entrepreneurs

Quote from the book 'The Start-up of You' by Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha

All human beings are entrepreneurs. When we were in the caves, we were all self-employed... finding our food, feeding ourselves. That's where human history began. As civilization came, we suppressed it.We became "labor" because they stamped us, "You are labor." We forgot that we are entrepreneurs. 
~ Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize winner and microfinance pioneer

~~
Sigh. When things become too comforting to live with, I guess we will end up in hibernation.

Cheers,
Srik

Friday, July 11, 2014

single act of dishonesty

Excerpt from the book The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty by Dan Ariely

The bottom line is that we should not view a single act of dishonesty as just one petty act. We tend to forgive people for their first offense with the idea that it is just the first time and everyone makes mistakes. And although this may be true, we should also realize that the first act of dishonesty might be particularly important in shaping the way a person looks at himself and his action from that point on-and because of that, the first dishonest act is the most important one to prevent. That is why it is important to cut down on the number of seemingly innocuous singular acts of dishonesty. If we do, society might become more honest and less corrupt over time. 

~~
Sigh!

Come to think about it now, I do agree that we tend to forgive people (and ourselves) for their first offense, and at the same time we unconsciously gain the chalta-hai-attitude I guess!

Srik

Friday, July 4, 2014

honesty

Excerpt from the book The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty by Dan Ariely

When our ability to rationalize our selfish desires increases, so does our fudge factor, making us more comfortable with our own misbehavior and cheating. The other side is true as well; when our ability to rationalize our actions is reduced, our fudge factor shrinks, making us less comfortable with misbehaving and cheating. When you consider the range of undesirable behaviors in the world from this standpoint - from banking practices to backdating stock options, from defaulting on loans and mortgages to cheating on taxes - there's a lot more to honesty and dishonesty than rational calculations. 

~~

Can't agree more!

Also talk about doing stuff when no one is around. Checking out whether people stare at your monitor when you open your facebook or youtube page at office; ordering more stationary at office so that you can take some for home use; quickly printing personal pages only when no one is around; signing out early when boss is on leave; and more such... :)

Srik

Friday, June 20, 2014

destiny


your beliefs become your thoughts,
your thoughts become your words,
your words become your actions, 
your actions become your habits,
your habits become your values,
your values become your destiny.

~ Mahatma Gandhi

~~
:)


Monday, June 16, 2014

Kick-Starting Monsoon 2014

Every year I wait for this time to witness the beauty that monsoon brings around. It not only transforms the landscape around me, but also transforms the mindscape of people. And there will always be much excitement to plan some trips and see some new life forms as the rain splashes the forest floor. One such trip happened this time as well. I think it is religious to plan a early monsoon trip in the month of June and these religious trips are never disappointing. This time the location we chose was the King's habitat - Agumbe. There were enough and more to see, to feel, to explore, to hear and to experience. And of course the beautiful and lonely campsite full of snakes, frogs and creepy silence. 

This monsoon we were welcomed by some gorgeous orchid blooms, pit vipers, blood sucking leeches, colorful frogs, huge rain-forest trees and with some keen observations, many other new life forms. Here are some photographs to give a glimpse of how monsoon treated us to start off in style this season. 

(click on the photographs to enlarge them)

Onake Abbi Falls
Rainbow at Onake Abbi
Malabar Pit vipers
Green Vine Snakes
Calotes rouxii
Calotes rouxii
Wayanad Bush Frog (?)
Yellow Bush Frog
Malabar Gliding Frog
Fungoid frog
Fungi
Tortoise Beetle
Chocolate Pansy
Draco - The flying lizard
Indian Bull Frog
Jumping Spider
Fungi
Some insects, flies and a mosquito
Some ferns
Rhynchostylis retusa - Foxtail Orchid

And how lucky I am to see this Cicada molting live!?

For more pictures visit my flickr link here.

Cheers,
Srikanth

Monday, June 9, 2014

do something different

Excerpt from the book The Escape Manifesto

All our life we jump through hoops.
Often without asking why.
It's easy to feel stuck - a small cog in a big machine.
It doesn't have to be like this.
Don't waste your life living someone else's.
Don't wait for permission.
Life is too short to do work that doesn't matter to you.
Want your memoirs to be worth reading?
Make your choices your own. Be brave. Be inquisitive.
Stop using lack of money or experience as an excuse.
You don't have to risk it all to explore new options.
You owe it to yourself to find work that makes you tick.
Our world is changing. Careers are changing.
Take advantage or keep your head down. You choose.
The winners are building lives on their own terms.
Take small leaps. Meet people. Ask for help. Save. Plan.
Change jobs. Build businesses. Go on BIG adventures.
Start something you love. It's not easy. Push. Sweat.
No one ever changed the world by toeing the line.
You are capable of more than you realize.
This is no dress rehearsal. Make it count.
There will never be a perfect time.
And the first step is often the hardest.
So stop dreaming and start planning.
Do Something Different!

~~

It's an anthem. It is hitting me hard.

Srik

Monday, May 19, 2014

Panorama from the Goan coast

Here are some panoramic photographs from my recent trip to Goa, Karwar and Gokarna.

(click on the photographs to enlarge them)

Sunset time at the serene Galgibagh beach, Canacona, Goa

Silent evening at Galgibagh beach, Canacona, Goa

Sunrise by the river Kali, Karwar

Kali joining the Arabian sea at Karwar

Om beach, Gokarna

Ghats of Charmadi 
Cheers, Srik

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

imagined landscape

Excerpt from the book India - A Sacred Geography by Diana L. Eck

This landscape not only connects places to the lore of gods, heroes, and saints, but it connects places to one another through local, regional and trans-regional practices of pilgrimage. Even more, these tracks of connection stretch from this world toward the horizon of the infinite, linking this world with the world beyond. The pilgrim's India is a vividly imagined landscape that has been created not by homing in on the singular importance of one place, but by the linking, duplication, and multiplication of places so as to constitute an entire world. The critical rule of thumb is this: Those things that are deeply important are to be widely repeated. The repetition of places, the creation of clusters and circles of sacred places, the articulation of groups of four, five, seven, or twelve sites - all this constitutes a vivid symbolic landscape characterized not by exclusivity and uniqueness, but by polycentricity, pluralism, and duplication. Most important, this "imagined landscape" has been constituted not by priests and their literature, though there is plenty of literature to be sure, but by countless millions of pilgrims who have generated a powerful sense of land, location, and belonging through journeys to their hearts' destinations. 

~~
Brilliantly said and absolutely true in every sense. I have visited so many temples in South India that are named as 'Dakshina Kashi' meaning "South Kashi". And I used to wonder why? I always thought there should be some reason behind this multiplication of duplicated places. The thumb rule in the above paragraph says it all!

Srik

Friday, April 4, 2014

as things they are

Meditation is like..

"in water, you let the dust to settle down so that water becomes very clean, also very peaceful and even still. If the water is still, the surface is like a mirror and it would reflect the surroundings as things they are. Meditation is to help us to see things as they really are..."  ~ Yifa, Buddhist nun


~~
This is the best definition of meditation I have come across. This is a clip from the video lecture as part of my Coursera course on "Buddhism and Modern Psychology" by Robert Wright from Princeton University.

Cheers,
Srik

Friday, March 28, 2014

Conservation fables #3: Pika and the dancing hare

Excerpt from the book Tibet Wild by George B. Schaller

Pika sits by his burrow when Hare hops up. "Where are you going?" asks Pika.
   "I come from behind me and I'm going ahead," replies Hare. 
   Hare looks down at little Pika and chuckles, pfft-pfft. Hare's cleft lip quivers when he makes that sound. 
   Pika does not know why Hare chuckles. Before he can ask, a gust of wind blows sand in their faces. Pika backs into his burrow, but Hare says, "wait, wait," as he wipes the sand from his face with his forepaws. "The sand reminds me of a story. You want to hear the latest? Well, maybe it's not so new. Another hare told me, and he got the story from someone else, who..." Hare leans over and whispers: "The whole village danced - on pikas."
 That got Pika's attention. 
   Hare laughs and wiggles his long ears. Then he twirls around and wiggles his white, fluffy tail and stamps his furry feet, THUMP THUMP, in a hare dance. Then Hare continues, "A production team from the village was building a fence. Pika holes everywhere. Wind blew sand into people's faces. Shoes sank into soil made soft by all the pika burrows. Gajia. the leader, had an insight: pikas cause sandstorms and erosion by digging and they eat all the grass. You know how people jump to conclusions."
   Pika nods in agreement.
Hare (pic from wiki)
   "Anyway," says Hare. "Gajia gave an order: 'The soil is too soft. We must pack it down. We must fill the pika holes.' The next day the villagers all came. You know how Tibetans love a picnic. They came with thermoses of butter tea, bread, and chunks of boiled mutton. They ate, and laughed, and were in good mood. Then they went to work. At first they just stamped their feet." THUMP THUMP goes Hare. "After that they danced, stomping the ground and singing, and holding their arms aloft."
   Hare thumps his feet, rises up, and spins around singing through his voice sounds like a squeak. THUMP-SQUEAK-THUMP. "After that they shoveled sand into the holes. It did pack the soil down."
   "What happened to the pikas?" asks Pika.
   Hare chuckles and his lip quivers again. "We hares don't dig much. A scrape here and there. But you pikas are fanatics, always digging. Nothing happened to the pikas: they simply fixed up their homes. But Gajia was angry. He wanted hard ground and he lost face. So he got poison from the government. End of Pikas."
   Pika is unhappy with that story. He lowers his head and his whiskers droop. Hare notices and says, "Wait! An interesting ending. You should be able to guess it. But you dig so much you don't take time to think like us hares. Action is easy, thought is hard. With the pikas gone, the soil packed down. When it rained, the water ran off, causing erosion. Soft soil absorbs and holds water. Grass grows well when it has moisture and is tender and nutritious. Grass grows poorly on hard soil and is tough to eat. Your digging helps all those who eat grass. Gajia had thought you pikas are harmful pests."
   Pika says smugly, "A little knowledge is a dangerous thing."
   Hare wiggles ears, nose, and tail, and laughs. "Let's dance." He hops in a tight circle and bounds away singing and thumping. THUMP THUMP. Here is his song:

          Soft soil
          Moist soil
          Green grass
          Good grass
          Cheers for Pika

Written by George B. Schaller

Conservation fables #2: Wolf looks for a new home

Excerpt from the book Tibet Wild by George B. Schaller

Wolf squeezes through a gap in the pasture gate and looks left and right. He sees several pikas, all of them busy running along their tiny winding pika roads, ducking in and out of burrows, and looking for food. One pika hums a little song:
Pika (pic from wiki)

          This is a mouthful of grass,
          This is a wild pea, 
          This is a flower and this a tender leaf,
          A lunch for you and me.

   Nearby, Pika watches Wolf, only his nose and bright eyes visible at the burrow entrance.
   "What brings you here? We rarely see your kind on this pasture," queries Pika. Wolf looks around and spots Pika.
   "Well," says Wolf, "I'm here to catch pikas. But you're safe for now."
   "You haven't answered my question," responds Pika.
   Wolf decides to be civil and tells Pika, "I hunted for months across pastures to the north. They were my home. I mainly had pikas for breakfast, lunch and dinner and for snacks in between. Only rarely did I kill a sheep. One day many people came and spread poisoned grain all over the pastures to kill pikas. Nearly all the pikas died. Have you heard of that before?"
   Pika does not like this conversation. He does not like to think of being eaten by Wolf. And he cannot begin to understand why humans would want to kill all the pikas. So Pika merely shakes his head in response to the question. 
Wolf (pic from wiki)

   "Anyway," continues Wolf, "with most pikas dead there was little for me to eat. So naturally I killed sheep. The herders had mostly ignored me until then. But suddenly they were determined to kill me, too. See, the tip of my left ear is gone. Someone had a gun, and a bullet almost got me. So I left. May be I'll stay here awhile. There seem to be a lot of pikas."
   Just then Wolf spots two gazelle, a mother and her baby. Few gazelle have survived in this area. The many pasture fences greatly hinder them when they try to escape a dog or wolf. Most fences are too high for gazelle to leap over.
   "Watch me," says Wolf. "I have developed a special technique for catching gazelle. The fences really help me." With that, Wolf approaches the gazelles slowly in a crouch. 
   Suddenly Wolf sprints towards the gazelles. Startled, they flee. Wolf is soon at their heels. Ahead is a fence. The mother gazelle zigzags and turns sharply away from the fence. Her less experienced baby dashes a full speed into the wire fence. Half stunned, it bounces back, its thin legs flailing. And Wolf is there ready.
   Pika watches and ponders and considers the effects of poisoning pikas and building fences. People, he concludes, don't think ahead. They do not consider the consequences of their actions.

Written by George B. Schaller 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

mind without measure

All the below interesting quotes are from JK's Mind without Measure!


When we are confused, uncertain, insecure, we try to find a solution in the past, we go back to our traditions.

Where there is conditioning there is no freedom, there cannot be love, there cannot be affection.

The brain has the capacity to create images. The images are the illusions we have. 

Thinking is a nature of man; it is not your thinking or my thinking.

When I am observing, learning, inquiring into the fact, there is no conflict. 

Do you know what it means to love another? Have you ever loved anybody? Is love dependence? 

Why is it that all religions, all so-called religious people have suppressed desire?

You have to approach fear very simply, the trunk and the root of fear, not the branches. 

So we are asking if there is another kind of instrument which is not thought. 

Your sorrow is the sorrow of mankind, the sorrow of all human beings.

Without love, the sense of compassion, the flame of it, the intelligence of it, life has very little meaning.

A mind in conflict, a brain in struggle, cannot possibly meditate. 

Is your brain programmed to think in a conventional, narrow, limited way?

Choice is not freedom. Choice is merely moving in the same field, from one corner to another.

They may meet sexually, talk together, care somewhat, have children, but they remain separate. 

We must inquire into what knowledge is, what place knowledge has in our relationship with each other.

In the greater, the lesser disappears. In the greater humanity, the little human problems are solved.

Can there be a gap between sensation and thought impinging upon that sensation?

We never look at what is. We want to change what is taking place into something else.

What is the cause of sorrow, which is pain, tears, a sense of desperate loneliness? 

It is much more important to understand what happens before death rather than what happens after death.

Your consciousness is not yours; it is shared by all human beings living on this Earth.

Meditation is not the practice of any system because when you practice a system, your brain becomes atrophied. 

We are saying that thought is responsible for all the misery in the world. 

So if thought is not the instrument to solve human problems, what then is the instrument?

We must have a brain that is constantly inquiring, questioning, doubting. 

When you are attached to anything, there is always fear in it, the fear of losing it. 

Find out yourself what is the cause of conflict by which man has lived from time immemorial.

Patience is timeless. It is only impatience that has time. 

Is it possible to end violence or greed or what you will immediately, end the whole of violence?

At that moment when thought takes charge of sensation, at that precise moment, desire is born.

In every house there is this shadow of sorrow. There is a sudden ending.

It is that intelligence that moves the Earth and the heavens and the stars because that is compassion. 

In meditation there is no control because the controller is controlled. 

If we have problems, they obviously act as friction and wear out the brain, and we get old and so on.

The body never says, 'I am'; the body never says, 'I am something special.'

If you say, 'Tell me how to end thought', then you make a problem of it.

All power is evil, ugly, whether it is the power of the wife over the husband or the power of governments. 

When you are facing facts, you have to be totally humble, not cultivate humility.

What does that love mean? Is it based on reward and punishment?

We must begin very near to go very far. The near is what we are.

Compassion is not the product of thought. Love cannot exist in the shadow of thought.

There is the sorrow of a man who has everything and yet nothing.

What is going to happen to us when the computer can do almost everything that we do?

But if you see the reality, the truth, that you are the rest of mankind, then what is death?

Meditation is the understanding of the whole structure of the 'me', the self, the ego.

~~


Conservation fables #1: Pika welcomes two flies

Excerpt from the book Tibet Wild by George B. Schaller

Pika is at the entrance to his burrow. Only his head peers out. His wife and children are deep in the burrow, cozy and warm in their grass nest. A cold wind blows and snowflakes fill the sky even though it is already summer. 
Pika from wiki

   As Pika looks out at the bad weather, thinking it too cold to look for some lunch, two large flies land before him. They have hairy abdomens but still they are shivering. 
   "Please let us into your burrow," says one fly. "It is so windy that we can't fly well and we are cold."
   "Then why don't you go home?" asks Pika. "Why come to my burrow?"
   "We have no home." says the second fly, stamping its six feet because they are wet with snow. "Usually we seek shelter in an empty pika or marmot burrow. But in this weather we could not find a place quickly."
   Pika grumbles, "why should I give hospitality to flies in my home?"
   "Oh, let them in. Be kind to strangers," calls Pika's wife from deep within the burrow. Pika obeys his wife, as usual.
   Pika squeezes to one side and let the flies walk in. Once out of the wind the flies shake their wings and wipe themselves dry with their forelegs.
   "What are you doing out in such weather?" asks Pika. 
   "We were pollinating flowers when the storm surprised us," answers the first fly. He explains that they fly from flower to flower seeking sweet nectar. At the same time they inadvertently carry pollen on their legs and hairy abdomen from one plant to another. In this way they help to fertilize the gentians, poppies, primroses and many other flowers. The plants can then produce seeds that later grow into new flowers. 
   Pika ponders this. Finally he says, "you mean you help flowers bloom?" And he ponders some more about what this might mean. 
   But Pika's wife has a quick mind. Her voice comes once more from within the nest. "Don't you realize, Pika, that our two visitors help us grow our food? Without them we would not have so many delicious plants to eat. Nor would the yaks, sheep, and marmots. We must always offer shelter to flies."
   Pika sits motionless, his head now inside the burrow. It helps him to think more clearly. He realizes that he often meets flies near his burrow but has paid them little attention. 
   "It is good to give hospitality and show kindness to strangers," he muses. "One never knows how they might repay you."

Written by George B. Schaller

~~
Whoa! I was thrilled reading these fables. These were written to send out conservation messages in the form of fables in the Chang Tang region of Tibet. The idea was that teaching young minds through such fables will help changing the strong and unwarranted antipathy of many Tibetans towards pikas; by highlighting the benefits that pikas bring to the rangeland and the pastoral households. These fables were translated into Tibetan and were published as booklets for school children.

It will be good to come up with such conservation fables on every threatened species and teach young minds. I am certain that if young children read these fables, they will develop affection towards wildlife and be knowledgeable about what good they can do for us.

Srik

Thursday, March 20, 2014

a deadly fashion

Excerpt from the book Tibet Wild by George B. Schaller

If the estimated average of 20,000 slaughtered chiru a year represents the correct order of magnitude, then 180,000 died between 1990 and 1998. The 1,100 kg of confiscated wool translates to about 11,000 chiru, based on about ten chiru hides per kilogram of wool. This figure, added to the 17,000 confiscated hides, totals 28,000 chiru. It is unlikely that more than 10-15 percent of the hides and wool in the trade are intercepted by police, making the official kill estimate very conservative. Looking at the annual shawl production in Kashmir during these years, one estimate is 5,000 to 11,000 shawls. There are roughly three chiru per shawl, so a total of 15,000 to 33,000 chiru died each year to support the deadly fashion. These crude calculations indicate, then, that at least 250,000 to 300,000 chiru died during the 1990s. 

~~
I am shocked! When I watched the documentary 'Kekexili - Mountain Patrol' couple of years ago, I saw the chiru slaughter in action. Well, only those who enjoy wearing those shahtoosh shawls will know how comfortable they are wearing bodies of three chiru draped over their shoulders. Isn't it a shroud? 

Chiru is a antelope native to Tibet. Less than 75000 individuals are left in the wild, down from a million.

Srik


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

R.I.P Melvin

that you were a great thinker, a pragmatist and a humble soul.
those conversations we had on Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations
still linger in my ears. And that you were delighted about getting an invite from
International Pragmatist's Association, be offered a membership and a good
opportunity to present your thoughts during their conference in Delhi, your
ideas on sharing knowledge and acquiring more, to be simpler in life.
how I enjoyed our conversations, something that I used to look forward to
you will be missed for sure! may you rest in peace!

cheers,

Friday, March 14, 2014

silhouette of a wild flower

out in the wild, in search of a wild flower 
dry and humid, in the hot summer weather
walking in the woods of spring colored trees
hearing the music of honey smeared bees
truly a wonder to see the colorful blossom
down in the valley, a wild flower in bloom
singing birds play in the nature's palette, and 
orchids look magical in the evening's silhouette 


Srik

Saturday, February 22, 2014

new life in the family

Sheer joy to see the new life joining all of us at the farm!



Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Zanskar - Frozen in Monotones

Although I love the colors of blue sky, brown-gold lit walls of the Zanskar valley, white ice and blue-green clear waters of the river, the landscape looks completely magical and gives a new meaning when they are seen in monotones. Presenting here some of the photographs that I liked to view them in the shades of grey.

(click on the photographs for a better and wider view)

At Tilat Sumdo

Chadar at Tilat Sumdo

First light at Tilat Sumdo

Chadar on the way to Shingra Koma

Chadar formation on the corners of gushing Zanskar

Chadar seen from the cliffs

Thick sheet of ice breaking and flipping

Huge gorges formed of sedimentary rocky layers

Chadar getting exposed to the hard sun

Icicles floating away while chadar on the corners gets narrowed

Frozen waterfalls and its territories

Mighty waterfall at Nerak frozen in its state

A lone juniper tree welcomes trekkers to the Nerak village

Reflections on Zanskar

Star shines on the gorge 

Icicles floating away and getting cornered to form chadar

Looking through the shade on to the shining valleys 

Glow behind the valleys and shade freezes the rest

Tiny at its feet and frozen by the wind

While the reflections shine away the gorgeous zanskar
For colored photographs, kindly follow this link here

Cheers,
Srikanth