Archive for December, 2012

The Bhagvad Gita – Its Essence …

Posted on December 25, 2012. Filed under: The Good Book |

Let us peruse the essence of one of the great spiritual Books of all time – the Bhagvad Gita.

Why do you worry without cause? Whom do you fear without reason?  Who can kill you? The soul is neither born nor does it die.

Whatever has happened, has happened for the good. Whatever is happening is happening for the good? Whatever will happen, will happen for the good.

You need not have any regrets for the past. You need not worry for the future. The present is happening.

What did you lose that you cry about?  What did you bring with you that you think you have lost? What did you produce that you think got destroyed? You did not bring anything! Whatever you have you received, whatever you have given, you have given only here!

Whatever you took, you took from GOD! Whate ver you gave, you have given only to Him. You came empty handed and you will leave empty handed

Whatever is yours belonged to someone else yesterday and will belong to someone else the day after tomorrow. You are mistakenly enjoying the thought that it is yours. It is this false happiness that is the cause of your sorrows.

Change is the law of the universe! In one instance you can be a millionaire and in another instant you can be steeped in poverty. Yours and Mine. Big and Small. Erase these ideas from your mind. Then Everything is Yours and You belong to Everyone!

What ever you think of as Death is Life. This body is not yours and neither you belong to the body. The body is made of Fire, Water, Air, Earth and Ether and you will disappear into these elements But the soul is permanent  So who are You?

Whatever you do, do it as a dedication to God. This will bring you the great experience of Joy and Lifelong Freedom Forever.

Dedicate your being to God. He is the One to be ultimately relied upon.       Those who know of His Support are ever Free from Fear, Worry and Sorrow.

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Posted on December 25, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized |

No Indian community internalized the civilizing mission of the ancient Hindu culture as did the Parsis. Only 50,000 remain in Bombay(Now” MUMBAI) today, mainly in South Mumbai, the most disciplined and cultured part of India .

In South Mumbai, the cutting of lanes by drivers is punished, jumping a red light is impossible, parking is possible only in allotted areas,roads are clean, service is efficient, the restaurants are unmatched – civilization seems within reach. South Mumbai has some of the finest buildings in India, many of them built by Parsis.

The Parsis came to Mumbai after Surat ‘s port silted over in the 17th century. Gerald Aungier settled Mumbai and gave Parsis land for their Tower of Silence on Malabar Hill in 1672. The Parsis made millions through the early and mid-1800s and they spent much of it on public good.

The Ambanis built Dhirubhai Ambani International School , where fees are Rs. 348,000 (US $8,000 a  year in a country where per capita income is $ 600 per year) and where the head girl is Mukesh Ambani’s daughter.!!!

The Kingfisher Mallyas gilded the insides of the Tirupati temple with gold.
Lakshmi Mittal, the fourth richest richest man in the world says he’s too young to think of  charity!! … He’s 57 and worth $45 billion.
The Birla Family built 3 temples in Hyderabad , Jaipur and Delhi .

These days Hindu philanthropy means building temples. They do not understand social philanthropy.

And these days, the Hindus’ lack of enthusiasm for philanthropy has become cultural. The Hindu cosmos is Hobbesian and the devotee’s relationship with God is transactional. God must be petitioned and placated to swing the universe’s blessings towards you and away from someone else.

They believe that society has no role in your advancement and there is no reason to give back to it because it hasn’t given you anything in the first place.  This is something that needs to be changed and reverted to our Sanatan Dharm.

The Parsis, on the other hand, understood that philanthropy – love of mankind – recognizes that we cannot progress alone.  That there is such a thing as the common good. They spent as no Indian community had ever before, on building  institutions, making them stand out in a culture whose talent lies in renaming things other people built.

The Parsis built libraries all over India , they built the National Gallery of Art. The Indian Institute of Science was built in 1911 by Jamshedji Nusserwanji Tata, the Tata Institute of  Fundamental Research was built by Dr Homi Bhabha, the Tata Institute of Social Science was built in 1936 by the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust. The Wadias built hospitals, women’s colleges and the five great low-income Parsi colonies of Bombay . JJ Hospital and Grant Medical College were founded by Sir Jamsetjee Jejeebhoy.

By 1924, two out of five Indians – whether Hindu, Muslim or Parsi – joining the Indian Civil Services were on TATA scholarships.

They gave Mumbai the Jehangir Art Gallery, Sir JJ School of Art , the Taraporevala Aquarium. The National Center for Performing Arts, the only place in India where world-class classical concerts are held is a gift of the Tatas. There are 161 Friends of the Symphony Orchestra of India (SOI) – www.soimumbai.in <http://www.soimumbai.in/> .92  of them are Parsis. For an annual fee of Rs 10,000, Friends of the SOI get two tickets to any one recital in the season, they get to shake hands with artistes after the concert and they get to attend music appreciation talks through the year.

The  Parsi dominates high culture in Mumbai. This means that a concert experience in the city is unlike that in any other part of India . Classical concerts seat as many as two thousand. Zubin Mehta, the most famous Parsi in the world, is Director of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra  since 1969. He conducts the tenor Placido Domingo, the pianist Daniel Barenboim and the soprano Barbara Frittoli. Four concerts are held at the Jamshed Bhabha Opera House and then one at Brabourne Stadium with a capacity of 25,000.

No other city in India has this appetite for classical music and in Mumbai this comes from the Parsis. Despite their tiny population, the Parsi presence in a concert hall is above 50 per cent.

Symphony Orchestra of India concerts begin at 7 pm. Once the musicians start, latecomers must wait outside till the movement ends. The end of each movement also signals a fusillade of coughs and groans, held back by doddering Parsis too polite to make a sound while Mendelssohn is being played. No mobile phone ever goes off as is common in cinema halls: his neighbors are aware of the Parsi’s insistence of form and his temper. The Parsis were also pioneers of Mumbai’s Gujarati theatre, which remains the most popular form of live entertainment in Mumbai.

Mumbai’s first theatre was opened by Parsis in 1846, the Grant Road Theatre, donations from Jamshetjee Jejeebhoy and Framjee Cowasjee making it possible.

Want to add about the generosity about Ratan Tata who did so much about the staff of Taj Hotel during the terrorist attack in Mumbai. Not only that but he also set up camps for all the other victims and their families who suffered during the attack at Bori Bunder.

The  Parsi in Bollywood caricature is a comic figure, but always honest, and innocent as Indians believe Parsis generally to be, rightly or wrongly. In the days before modern cars came to India the words ‘Parsi-owned’ were guaranteed to ensure that a second-hand car listed for sale would get picked up ahead of any others. This is because people are aware of how carefully the Parsi keeps his things. His understanding and enthusiasm of the mechanical separates him from the rest. Most of  the automobile magazines in India are owned and edited by  Parsis.

The Parsis are a dying community and this means that more Parsis die each year than are born (Symphony concert-goers can also discern the disappearing Parsi from the rising numbers of those who clap between movements).

As the Parsis leave, South Mumbai will become like the rest of Mumbai – brutish, undisciplined and filthy.

Preserve this race…You are privileged if you have a Parsi Bawa as your friend…He/She is indeed a “Heritage” to be treasured for ever.

CREDIT TO SARDARS

We all love Sardar jokes. But do you know that Sikhs are one of the hardest working, prosperous and diversified communities in the world!
My friend told me about the following incident which I wish to share with  you. It has had a deep impact on my thinking.

During the last vacation, a few friends came to Delhi . They rented a taxi for local sight-seeing. The driver was an old Sardar and boys being boys, these pals began cracking Sardarji jokes, just to tease the old man. But to their surprise, the fellow remained unperturbed..

At the end of the sight-seeing, they paid the cab hire charges. The Sardar returned the change, but he gave each one of them one rupee extra and said,”Sons, since morning you have been telling Sardarji jokes. I listened to them all and let me tell you, some of them were in bad taste. Still, I don’t mind coz I know that you are young blood and are yet to see the world. But I have one request. I am giving you one rupee each. Give it to the first Sardar beggar that you come across in this or any other city !!!”

My friend continued, “That one rupee coin is still with me. I couldn’t find a single Sardar begging anywhere.”

MORAL:
The secret behind their universal success is their willingness to do any job with utmost dedication and pride. A Sardar will drive a truck or set up a roadside garage or a dhaba, run a fruit juice stall, take up small time carpentry, … but he will never beg on the streets

Because Sikhs contribute:* 33% of total income tax
* 67% of total charities
* 45% of Indian Army* 59,000++ Gurudwaras serve LANGAR to 5,900,000+ people everyday!

& All this when THEY make only 1.4% of the total INDIAN POPULATION.

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History of the Middle Finger …

Posted on December 25, 2012. Filed under: From a Services Career, Light plus Weighty, The English |

Well, now here’s something I never knew before, and now that I know it, I feel compelled to send it on to my more intelligent friends in the hope that they, too, will feel edified. Isn’t history more fun when you know something about it?
Before the Battle of Agincourt in 1415, the French, anticipating victory over the English, proposed to cut off the middle finger of all captured English soldiers. Without the middle finger it would be impossible to draw the renowned English longbow and therefore they would be incapable of fighting in the future. This famous English longbow was made of the native English Yew tree, and the act of drawing the longbow was known as “plucking the yew” (or “pluck yew”).
Much to the bewilderment of the French, the English won a major upset and began mocking the French by waving their middle fingers at the defeated French, saying,
See, we can still pluck yew! Since ‘pluck yew’ is rather difficult to say, the difficult consonant cluster at the beginning has gradually changed to a labiodentals fricative F’, and thus the words often used in conjunction with the one-finger-salute! It is also because of the pheasant feathers on the arrows used with the longbow that the symbolic gesture is known as “giving the bird.”

IT IS STILL AN APPROPRIATE SALUTE TO THE FRENCH TODAY!

And yew thought yew knew every plucking thing.

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The Truer Side of the Army …

Posted on December 17, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized |

From the Reichwar Staff – 1930

“Officers to be divided into four classes; the clever, the lazy, the industrious, and the stupid. Most often two of these qualities come together.

The officers who are clever and industrious are fitted for the highest staff appointments.

Those who are stupid and lazy make up around 90% of every army in the world, and they can be used for routine work.

The man who is clever and lazy, however, is for the very highest command; he has the temperament and nerves to deal with all situations.

But whoever is stupid and industrious is a menace and must be removed immediately!” 

xxx

Excerpts from the British Military performance reports on its officers, could win a humor award.

His men would follow him anywhere, but only out of curiosity.

He has carried out each and every one of his duties to his entire satisfaction.

He would be out of his depth in a car park puddle.

Technically sound, but socially impossible.

This Officer reminds me very much of a gyroscope- always spinning around at a frantic pace, but not really going anywhere.

This young lady has delusions of adequacy.

When she opens her mouth, it seems that this is only to change whichever foot was previously in there.

When he joined my ship, this Officer was something of a granny; since then he has aged considerably.

This Medical Officer has used my ship to carry his genitals from port to port, and my officers to carry him from bar to bar.

Since my last report he has reached rock bottom, and has started to dig.

She sets low personal standards and then consistently fails to achieve them.

He has the wisdom of youth, and the energy of old age.

This Officer should go far – and the sooner he starts, the better.

This man is depriving a village somewhere of an idiot.

The only ship I would recommend this man for is citizenship.

Works well when under constant supervision and cornered like a rat in a trap.

 

 

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China vs India ’62 and China vs Viet Nam ’79 …

Posted on December 12, 2012. Filed under: From a Services Career, Personalities |

Both these wars lasted just a month. While the 1962 War was a decisive victory for China, in the 1979 War it got a bloody nose from Viet Nam.

The Great Q – Wherefore the difference? The answer lies in the difference in Leadership and Preparation.

The 1962 War was from Oct 20th to Nov 21st.

India deployed some 10 t0 12000 soldiers, poorly equipped and ill trained, while China attacked with some 80000 professionals.

Casualties. India – Killed.1400: Wounded 1100: Missing 1700: POW 4000.     Chinese. Killed 7 to 800: Wounded 17 – 1800.

The 1979.War was from Feb 17 to Mar 16.

China attacked with some 200,000 PLA but soon increased it to 400,000 and some 400 tanks. It also deployed some 1.5 million regulars on its tense Soviet border.

Viet Nam had some 150,000 militia backed by 100,000 regulars on its border. It refused to pull out its 150,000 troops from Cambodia and refused to reinforce the border by thinning out the very strong force of 300000 kept back for the defense of Hanoi.

Each side lost around 25 to 30000 in killed and around 35000 in wounded.

The 1962 War

China was under the great Mao –  Zhou combine and had resolved to teach India a lesson due to the Nehru – Krishna Menon arrogance shown by their belated and poorly conceived. ‘forward policy’  – authored by the wily politically savvy BN Mullick, their trusted IB Chief. The policy brought into effect after it was found that the Chinese had constructed a road in the undemarcated Aksai Chin. This policy consisted of dotting the area with small isolated posts in penny packets..

At first India had a dotted line on its Aksai Chin IB to show that it was not demarked. It learnt – and that from a Chinese map – that a road had been built across the Aksai Chin linking up Tibet with the Chinese Western region..India then made its earlier dotted IB line continuous and adopted its ill concieved’forward policy’ – but did not negotiate to resolve the issue.

Nehru had informally raised the issue with Zhou but this professional diplomat had answered that the Chinese had not had time to go into the issue whereas they were awaiting the completion of their road.

Its Macmohan Line IB too was none too clear, as on the one hand it claimed that this followed the highest ridges but yet claimed areas North of it. Some sane heads in North Block as well as officers like Brig Dalvi are on record that the Thagla Ridge areas were on the Tibetan side. Yet Nehru in cavalier fashion – and that in Sep 62 – told reporters that he had ordered the Indian Army to throw out the Chinese from this area.

https://improveacrati.wordpress.com/2012/11/23/1962-war-diplomatically-too-china-won/

On the other hand there was thorough, deliberate and detailed planning and preparation by the Chinese leadership and its army.

India, for some fatal flaw, refused to believe that War was a possibility. Further the professional elan of its Army had been shattered by the humiliation of one of its greatest soldiers – General KS Thimaya.

Even the outgoing Chiefs recommendation re his successor had been given short shrift. The pliable General Thapar had been made Chief instead of General Thorat, who as Eastern Army Commander had planned, in classic defense style, to hold the main defense line at the then Road heads and defend areas forward of these with covering troops.

,These plans were given short shrift by the arrogant Defense Minister Krishna Menon and the flambouyant General Kaul, who had been given a meteoric rise due to his proximity to Pandit Nehru.

General BM Kaul was a politically well connected Army Service Corps Kashmiri Pandit, who was virtually allowed to run the Army. He even damaged officers like General Sam Manekshaw, who was to win India’s greatest ever triumph just nine years after this greatest of debacles..

General Kaul’s chosen deputy, Brig DK Palit went on record in Aug 62, to say that a war with China in the near future could be ruled out. Even the tough and professional Maj General Jogi Dhillon, who commanded the XI Corps with distinction in the 1965 War, went on to say in Sep 62, “Experience in Ladakh has shown that a few rounds fired at the Chinese would cause them to run away.”

The resultant Chinese Blitzkrieg in the high Himalayas resulted in the most pitiful all round humiliation for India.

The 1979 Sino – Viet Nam War

This was caused by the Viet Nam invasion of Cambodia which invasion had been backed by the Soviet Union.

The Chinese entered Northern Vietnam and advanced quickly about 15–20 kilometers.. The Vietnamese avoided mobilizing their regular divisions, holding back some 300,000 troops for the defense of Hanoi. The Vietnamese avoided direct combat and used the indirect approach.

The initial Chinese attack soon lost momentum and a new wave of attack had to be launched. It captured some of the northernmost cities in Vietnam but failed to lure the Vietnamese reserves kept for the defense of Hanoi.

The strategic Chinese plan had been to destroy these reserves quickly as Deng did not want to risk an escalation which could involve the Soviets. The PVA High Command, was, however aided by Soviet satellite intelligence.

Once the Chinese failed in this, the war was practically over. An assault was still mounted, but the Vietnamese only committed one PVA regiment. After three days of bloody house-to-house fighting, Lang Son, a border town, fell on March 6. The PLA then took the southern heights.

Even though the PLA claimed to have crushed several of the Vietnamese regular units, the reality was that the PLA only engaged border and regional Vietnamese militia units, which proved more than a match for regular PLA units.

The Chinese attacks aimed at major provincial capitals and key communication centers in the border hinter land resulted in major battles.The aim had been to inflict heavy attrition on them through classical “meat-grinder” operations. There were fierce attacks and counterattacks.and the Chinese at one point had to launch over a dozen attacks to regain one objective, which had been gained and lost.

By late last week of February, the Vietnamese had still not committed any of their regular divisions. They had also not pulled out any of their troops in Cambodia.

In the provincial capitals the Vietnamese adopted their favorite tactic – they withdrew from the towns into the adjoining hills and as the Chinese formations surged in, they were engaged from all sides and from the surrounding hills and severely mauled.

Due to the crude tactics and poor strategy of the PLA command, PLA units suffered extensive casualties. The combination of high casualties, a badly organized command, harsh Vietnamese resistance and the risk of the Soviets entering the conflict stopped the Chinese.

On March 6, China declared that the gate to Hanoi was open and that their punitive mission had been achieved.

On the way back to the Chinese border, the PLA destroyed all local infrastructure and housing and looted all useful equipment and resources (including livestock), which were mainly donated by China to support Vietnam’s economy prior to the war.

The PLA crossed the border back into China on March 16. While China claimed to have crushed the Vietnamese resistance, Vietnam claimed that China had only fought against border militias.

This allowed both sides to claim military victory.

Lesson for India

Train Hard Fight Easy!

Plan – Prepare – And be Ready.

It will be a lengthy bitter war with high attrition of men and material – very unlike 1965, 1971 or the Kargil Affair.

General Rawind Garewal – the paratrooper, who had fought the Chinese  to a stand still in Ladakh as a Brigade Commander – on seeing our communication trenches in 19 Division in 1963, observed that there was little to choose between Pakistan and us but the Chinese were the ones to watch out for because their loaded mules could pass each other in their communication trenches!

 

 
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Your Money and Magic of the Number 72 …

Posted on December 5, 2012. Filed under: Business, Guide Posts, Light plus Weighty, Searching for Success, Vocabulary/Words |

72 is the magic number for your money
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Ever faced a financial agent who promised you a (X %) rate of interest on your investments and/or double the funds in (Y) number of years?
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To verify, if he is telling you the truth or purely bluffing isnt
rocket science, it’s harder. You will have to battle excel sheets to know the real answer. Or, look for a financial calculator and first figure out how on earth it works, and which mode you should choose – begin or end. (If you don’t know what that means, never mind)
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Of course, you could log-on to the net on your mobile and try to punch in the details on an online calculator website.
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You could do all of the above mentioned things or simply use the magic number 72.
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If you divide the number 72 by the rate of interest, you get to know the number of years it will take for you to double the money.
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72: is sort of a magic number of personal finance, a.k.a known as the rule of 72 in personal finance parlance.
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All you need to do is a quick calculation (mentally if you know fifth grade math tables) and you can verify, if the cheeky agent is giving you hogwash.
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Years: If you divide the number 72 by the rate of interest, you get to know the number of years it will take for you to double the money. For instance, if the rate of interest is 9%, simply divide the number 72 by 9% and the answer is eight. This is the number of years it will take to double your money if you invest it at 9% rate of interest.
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Interest: This rule works in reverse order as well. Lets say, you know the number of years you want to double your money in and want to know the minimum rate of interest which you need to achieve that goal. Â So let’s say, you have Rs 2.5 lakh today and need to fund you sons college education with Rs 5 lakh in five years. Just divide the number 72 by 5 and the answer is 14.41%. This shows that you will need to invest your money in an instrument where you earn at least 14.4% as rate of interest, if you want to double the funds in five years.
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Inflation: This rule also helps you understand a thing or two about inflation. It helps you calculate the amount of time it will take for inflation to make the real value of money half. So, lets say that the average inflation is 7%. When you divide 72 by 7, the answer is 10.28. So, if you have Rs 1 lakh in your kitty today, it would take around 10.28 year for the value of the money to be halved.
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Keep in mind, that this is a rule of thumb and can be used to
get a rough result on money related calculations. Now that you know a little more about the number 72 and its rule, use it while dealing with your agents for quick verifications of facts. If nothing else, you can always impress your girlfriend or boyfriend with this info.
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SOME PEOPLE
COME IN YOUR LIFE AS BLESSINGS.
OTHERS COME AS LESSONS – BOTH ARE WELCOME
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Rommel – as remembered by Savena …

Posted on December 3, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Dec 3 makes it a year and half since Rommel left us. This note was sent by eleven year old Savena.

This is about my favorite dog Rommel!
He died on Friday June third 2011. Even though he is not here with me, I still call him my favorite dog! I love him a lot and wish he was still here!!!!!!
When I was a little younger I was a little scared of him,but later I wasn’t scared of him at all. He was a big dog,German Shepard, with  goldish brown and black hair. He was a very calm and happy dog. He died on the sidewalk (the third tree if you keep going up from Reiya’s hous’ turn).
That day was a very sad day for everyone in the house. Reiya and me cried a lot that day. I remember how Mamiji, Reiya, Naina and me would take Rommel for a walk! It used to be a lot of fun!
I really miss Rommel sooooooo much! I really wish he did not die! He was very cute!! While he was sleeping in the garage he looked very beautiful.. When we went for a walk with Rommel I always wanted to hold the leash but I was too young:(I thought when I would be older I would get to hold the leash but that day didn’t come.
I really Love You Rommel!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 😃😃😃😃😃😃😃😃😃😃😃😃😃
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