Archive for August, 2008

Goals – Sep ’08 … Wealth

Posted on August 31, 2008. Filed under: The Good Book |

Many have come to ruin because of gold and their destruction has met them face to face.

When goods increase, they increase those who eat them, and what gain has their owner but to see them with his eyes.

Who ever accumulates by depriving himself, accumulates for others. If a man is mean to himself, to whom will he be generous? My son, treat yourself well, according to your means.

Every one who is hasty comes only to want and every one who despises little things will fail little by little.

The Good Book –

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Prem Kukreti II … a Sordid, Shameful Story …

Posted on August 29, 2008. Filed under: From a Services Career |

Prem fought right upto the Chief, General KVK Rao, to undo the damage of this wholly forgetable imbroglio and clear the family name. But this was much too serious a matter.

Very briefly, Prem’s brother had joined the same regiment and was the second in command of his unit. The CO had gone on leave when his pet officer returned late from leave. Kukreti as officiating CO initiated disciplinary proceedings. The CO on return, in connivance with the brigade commander, rescinded these proccedings. As the younger kukreti would not countenance this, his immediate bosses got together and declared him insane. An ambulance was called to take the officer to a mental hospital.

When Kukreti saw the ambulance, he reacted by racing to a forward post where the troops were deeply loyal to him. On their beloved officer’s account, the troops turned their guns homeward. The CO was obviously a wishy washy character but the brigade commander was a much decorated officer, having gallantry as well as distinguished service medals.  But he proved not quite what his chest full of ribbons vouchsafed. The Divisional Commander became a mere bystander.  

Kukreti declared that he would only surrender to the Corps COS,, a General Nattu, and it was this personage who walked up to the post and arrested him.

A sad, sombre, sorry, story which underlines the vital importance of leadership, as nothing can. All of Prem Kukreti’s  efforts could not redeem his brother’s regretable deed.

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Barack Husein Obama …

Posted on August 29, 2008. Filed under: American Thinkers, Personalities |

This name is flooding the news, so why add it here? … Well, just to see what may have got him here …

1. Come rain or shine, his most oft repeated remark to himself, “I need to get better”.

2. Does not wear his heart on his sleeve. His iron self control enables him to keep his feelings in check and so does not easily exult, despair or get angered. Has anyone ever seen any real emotion?

3. Of course this  prevents even his close associates from ever knowing  the real Obama, his two books and the billions of words written about him not withstanding. Is there some uneasiness somewher ? So when will the real Obama really stand up?

4. Ofcourse his journey began long ago. Remember a decade ago, he had joined his luminaries for regular seminars organized by his Harvard professor.

5. And even before that …. …. ….. ?

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Prem Kukreti … as colorful as they come …

Posted on August 28, 2008. Filed under: From a Services Career |

It was the latter half of ’64, when a goof up by the sentry had me go over to the entrance gate and mollify a much disconcerted young Prem Kukreti. He informed me that he had served in the ranks in our Regiment before obtaining his commission and was now going for the Staff Course on a competitive vacancy. He was the first in his batch to qualify. I ushered him to the CO, Col Jerry jhirad, who gave him a happy homecoming.  

An excellent and colorful character and outstanding sportsman, Prem Kukreti was one of a kind. He  was always on the go  – and he always had his eye on the ball literally and figuratively. At Mhow, he took up golf from scratch and within a couple months had a single digit handicap. As CO he took up his whole battalion, mlind you the whole unit, including the non combatants and made one and all climb Mount Trisul. Earlier on Jack Dias had taken some of us up by moonlight

It was during General Prem Kukreti’s tenure as an Inspector General, that the ungerground obtained one of their greatest successes. They had made the village headman befriend the post personnel and when most of the fighting personnel were out on a patrol, they attacked the administrative elements in the Post and butchered all. The radio operator was hacked as he flashed the SOS. The only survivor was a small servant boy who hid under a bed and was later able to tell the story. Of course all the weapons ammunition of the post were taken.

It remains to Prem’s credit that he not only got all the weapons and ammunition back but more than what had been taken. There was nothing wishy washy about Prem who gave written orders that he alone was solely responsible for all acts of commission and omission of his subordinates acting to get the looted weapons back. Thus emboldened his officers and men to get all the weapons and ammunition back. These  had been neatly bundled in polythense sheets and after a small river had been diverted, the river bed was dug and the bags of weapons and ammunitons were placed and covered up. Thereafter the river was rediverted backon to its original course. But Prem got them all back, and more!

Quite a character – they dont come like that anymore. My personal contact with him remained off and on. We had a stand off when he tried to interfere with our selection of the regimental colonel. It was a draw as he said that he had after all served in the regiment however so long ago and in whatever capacity! I let it ride.  However I did help him get his house back.

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Hamlet tongue lashes his Mother, the Queen …

Posted on August 27, 2008. Filed under: Books, Great Writing, Mars & Venus, Personalities |

This is how the Bard makes Hamlet tongue lash his mother, the Queen who has married his uncle, who murdered his father, the King.

Queen ……        Hamlet, thou thy father has much offended.

Hamlet ……      Mother , my father thou has much offended.

Queen …….        Come, come, you answer with an idle tongue.

Hamlet. …..       Go, go, you question with a  wicked tongue.

Queen …….        Has’t  thou forgot me?

Hamlet. …..     You are the queen, your husbands brothers wife, and –           were it not so –   you  are my mother. Come, come sit you down. You shall not budge  till I set you up a glass where you may see the innermost part of                   you.

Queen …….       What have I done that thou darest to wag thy tongue so rude against me?

Hamlet ……       Such an act that blurs the grace and blush of modesty; calls virtue hypocrite;  takes off the rose from the fair forehead of an innocent love                  and sets a blister there – makes marriage vows as false as dicers oaths.

Look here on this picture and on this, the counterfeit presentiment of two            brothers. 

See what a grace was seated on this brow, Hyperions curls, the front of Jove himself. An eye like Mars to threaten and command; a station like the herald Mercury new lighted on a heaven kissing hill . A  combination  and form indeed, where every god did seem to set his seal, to give the  world tha assurance of a man.

This was your husband. 

Look you now, what follows. Here is your husband, like a mildewed ear blasting his wholesome brother.

Have you eyes? Could you on this fair  mountain leave to feed and batten on this moor?

Have you eyes? You cannot call it love for at your age, the hey day in the            blood is tame, it is humble and waits upon the judgement. What judgement          would step from this to this?

Sense sure you have for otherwise you could not have motion but sure that         sense is apoplexed; for madness would not err nor sense to ecstasy was ever      so thralled  but it reserved some quantity of choice.

What devil was it that thus has cozened you at hoodlum blind?  Eyes without feeling, feeling without sight?

O Shame, where is thy blush?

Rebellious hell, if thou canst mutine in a matron’s bones, to flaming youth let virtue be as wax and melt in her own fire and proclaim no shame.

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The Day Nehru Died …

Posted on August 25, 2008. Filed under: From a Services Career |

It was the day that we heard, over the radio, that Nehru had died. 

As I dressed for dinner and listened, without much guilt, to the popular Radio Ceylon music,  Sateh, the unit Havildar Major, who was officiating as the Jemadar Adjutant (the rank has since been changed to Naib Subedar), was ushered in by Bakthawar. I was sombrely informed that the rear element of the Punjab Armed Police Company (under our command), who had been ordered to vacate the barrack (temporarily given to them but now needed for the subunits coming down from the heights), was defiant and announced, “Goli chal jayegi (shots will be fired) – we will not vacate”.

This  sent an icy chill through me but I managed to be remain composed –  wished Meharwan, the real JA, was present as he would have handled it. I asked as to where were the b…s?  I was told that the group, (there were some five of them), had gone to the Commanding Officers hut.  I grabbed my jacket and rushed there and learnt that the CO had left for the Mess a wee  earlier and these chaps had followed him. I bounded for the Mess.

The officers were sitting rather gloomily and the mood was sombre as became the occasion. I wished the CO a ‘Good Evening Sir’ and he asked me to look at some chaps who wanted to see him. I nodded and went out to the rear of the mess, not quite knowing what I was going to do. I had heard of mutinees and officers getting shot on flimsy, imagined grieviences. Just two years earlier an Assam unit had taken the officers and JCOs hostage and it was only then Brig,  SK Korla, DSO MC, who was allowed in to talk to them and sort out the problem. Here I was damned if I was going to be any part of such history. But what was I going to do???

 As I walked out, I saw the group lined up and my first thought was – Thank God, there is still some discipline. And when the guy called the group to attention and gave me a Salute, my reflex action was a command to turn right and Quick March — and I marched them straight in to the Quarter Guard before they could grasp what was happening. Here after the guard was turned out and in battle stations,  these chaps were duly disarmed and began to be locked up in the prisoner cells. Whew!!!

However there was a hitch as a white bearded old NCO, begged and pleaded saying that he was an honest and honorable guy with a score years service behind him and putting him behind bars would destroy his self respect. I relented and after an assurance that the barrack would be vacated within the next couple hours, I let them out but kept a guard over their weapons. When I returned to the Mess, dinner was over and the CO casually asked what had taken me so long. I mumbled something and wished him Good Night.

Next morning was a holiday and when I liesurely went to the Mess for breakfast, I saw the CO lounging outside. He waved me over and asked what the hell had happened last night? When I said nothing, he grimaced, “Like Hell” … Well, the NCO had hitched a ride to the Divisional HQ at Baramulla, and made a written report to the Grade ! Staff Officer, Col Hardev Kler, with whom our CO was not on too good terms.  Anyway Hardev had rung up the CO who was totally in the dark and much embarrassed at being told what had happened. Anyway he asked  me to always keep him in the loop and that was that!

Hardev was a Signals officer but as a field commander was the first to reach Dacca in the 19 71 War. He had been our Brigade Major earlier and rather liked me. Whenever any one went to his office to ask something, he would toy around with his Name Plaque which was on his desk and casually turn it around and the visitor would read, “What have you done for me lately?”  Hardev has been rated as arguably India’s finest field commander, Gen Sagat not withstanding and that to by the noted and erudite historian and ex boss of the Historical Section, Gen KM Bhimaya. However later when he was a General commanding a Division in Akhnur, he had a rather opulent Hut made on the banks of the Tawi and as the work was unfortunately at the cost of some defence stores, the poor man was court martialled by the over zealous Corps Commander, Gen Krishna Rao, and dismissed from Service; which punishment was subsquently set aside.                     

His grade II at the time was Major VN Sharma, (who also rose to become Chief) and the grade III was Harish Handa, both Rimollians which allowed me to get away with ust about anything including late submission of all our reports and returns -:). Ours was an independent sector at Trehgam, near Kupwara, called for some reason as the ‘F’ Sector and it came directly under Division.

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Self Control generates Power …

Posted on August 24, 2008. Filed under: Personal Magnetism |

Life is a mass of energies and these permeate from head to foot. These energies must not be allowed to run wild.

.Left to nature, all these energies are at war and in confusion. The aim must be to master and marshal these energies. Indeed, by preventing waste and loss of vitality, the natural accumulation of nervous energy, in a single day, can become enormous.


It is the union of the wasting energies of the body that creates magnetic power.


The little movements that throw themselves off are self acting. They scatter your influence and your power. All persons who lack self control have automatics. It is these which throw away power directly affecting success.


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Steven Paul Jobs …

Posted on August 18, 2008. Filed under: Personalities, Quotes |

Steven Paul Jobs co-founded Apple with Steve Woznia and made the PC easy and affordable. In 1985, he lost a power struggle and founded NeXT, which Apple bought and he again became Apple CEO. Fortune Mag listed him as the Most Powerful Biz Man of 2007. Widely considered a leading figure in the Computer and Entertainment Industries. His forte is that he understands the crucial role of aesthetics and makes his products both functional as well as elegant. Now listen to what he has said.

“I would trade all my technology for an afternoon with Socrates”.

“Being the richest man in the cemetery does not interest me. Going to bed at night thinking that I have done something wonderful is what gives me satisfaction”.

“The only thing which kept me going is that I loved what I did. You have got to find what you love”.

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Financial Literacy …

Posted on August 18, 2008. Filed under: Guide Posts, Personalities |

Annamaria Lusardi, professor of economics at Dartmouth College and author of, “Financial Literacy – An Essential tool for Informed Consumer Choice”

The professor says that were she President of the US for a day, she would have the following taught in High School –

1. Basics of how markets work. Things like supply and demand which determine prices and the fact that the interest rate is really the price of money.

2. Time value of money and the working of interest compounding. Because so many payments in finance happen at different points in time, one needs to know how to compare payments. Discounting is the basis of asset pricing. Price of bonds is the present value of its payments. Interest compounding is a fundamental concept and requires a bit of math. It is critically important to understand interest compounding to be able to fully appreciate the importance of starting to save young and how to borrow and handle debt.

3. The concept of risk and the working of risk diversification and insurance. Lots of decisions about saving and investing have to do with handling risk.

4. Basic Accounting. Net values is assets minus liabilities and the difference between choosing market prices and book prices.

5. Rights and liabilities of Consumers and Institutions. The Fed Deposit Insurance Corp and bank deposits, are safe upto 100k and no need to line upto withdraw. Fiduciary and non fiduciary duties and role of financial advisors.

She reveals how a credit card works, talks about understanding the beauty of compound interest and the ugliness of paying minimum balance. And knowing how to save and invest even if you think you cannot

Last but most important, she is charming!

And, finally, do you know what dear Einstein said? – “The most powerful force in the universe is compound interest”.

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Common Negative Words which have Power

Posted on August 16, 2008. Filed under: Vocabulary/Words |

Denial Words –renounce,

Abjure – a word you use for self or another to give up, renounce, disclaim, refuse, forswear under oath, to recant …. give up bad habits ie  ‘abjure sinful ways.

Proscribe – a word used by an organization to prohibit, place beyond the pale,  to ban ie gambling was proscribed in the house ie banned.

Ostracize – its a more personal word and used for an individual who is to excluded from all intercourse, and social activity favours or privileges … to place outside a circle ie those that had bad debts were ostracized by the community, a social form of beinng ‘outlawed’

Rescind –repeal, annul, cancel, abolish, change or nullify past orders/practice ie rescind orders passed by the previous incumbent.

Nullify – to reduce to reduntantcy, to make useless, negate, to deprive of effect … His family’s behaviour nullified his good deeds.

Repudiate – a common word for challenging or answering or disownning an argument; refuse to acknowledge; to disclaim; disown; renounce

Confute – an uncommon word; perharps a combination of confusing and refuting; means  to prove wrong .. He confuted his critics or refuted the argument and proved it false.

Wilfred Funk

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