Growth – The Organic Way

Whenever I am driving on a highway, I try to maintain constant speed. Maintaining the tender balance on the accelerator gives a certain thrill.  I can only do this when no vehicles ahead of me.  What I observe is vehicles behind me turn restless. Even though I am going at max speed limit,  people look to overtake me.  May be they do not like to cruise at constant speed.  They either need to accelerate or decelerate.

That is what we see even in economies.  Companies are expected to grow, to look normal, else are considered stagnant or dead.  If everything else around us is moving at same speed as us,  we are stagnant with respect to things around, even though we are traveling at enormous speed.  In this race,  we tend to go ahead of others and try to stretch ourselves in all possible ways. This artificial stretch gives us a sense of motion but we are moving away from our core. This is what we are doing with our companies and economies. The economists in positions of decision making should understand that the size of earth is not growing by 3% every year, nor the resources growing. The only way to grow the economy in conservative terms is to produce and consume more goods, causing more pollution. In business, we target plausible growth but in the process push ourselves as if it is only way to survive.  We have heard this in history books.  Small kingdoms dreaming to be the empires, are in constant war with neighbors. Few of them get successful but end up breaking up into pieces as they cannot maintain the vast empire. In today’s world, actual wars are replaced by non-violent ways-economic and ideological wars.

Today’s businesses do the same to capture the market. As we pull ourselves more,  we break into pieces.  In this process, they break into groups, away from their core. We have seen many examples – Shivaite-Vaishnavite, Shia-Sunni, Catholic-Protestant ideological clashes. Both the groups, though sharing the same source, claim their path to be only true, but there is a chance that both are true.  If there are infinite possibilities of reaching point A from point B,  there could be infinite ways to know truth. If we traveled the path, we would know.

Running Behind Profits:
If we take the case of Facebook. In pursuit of profits, users’ data was allegedly given to other companies.  It lost the trust of some users.  Growth cannot be always be through stretching in one direction we think is best. If growth of a company is only measured in terms of revenue, profit alone then, it will not last long as it takes a lot from the employees, owners, stake holders and customers. Growth is best if it is in all directions, like a lake. A lake expands its shores in all directions during rains and humble enough to shrink back. Even though it expands or shrinks, it does not lose its core. Similarly, growth of a company has to be a product of willing contributions from all the employees, suppliers and customers. Also the growth should have a positive impact on the lives of the employees. Everyone should take pride in their role and contribution and supporting each other in ups, downs and flat roads!

Downtime is actually a good time to take stock of the company, resources, skill set and other factors. Its time to improve overall process, improve and upgrade skills through training. One has to experience stillness to enjoy movement! One cannot be in constant expansion, to miss the beauty of stillness. Let’s move with a sense of stillness; and be ready to become still while on the move.

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UMM! Chilli!

When I was about 8 or 10 years of age, my mother used to cook curries without red chilli(chili) powder or green chilli peppers since my father had stomach ulcers.  Chilli pepper – green, red, cayene or many other varieties, is an ubiquitous ingredient of Indian, Mexican and Mediterranean cuisines! The curries looked very bland to others but we were used to it.  As my father got cured,  he started eating chilli peppers again and mother’s curries changed too.  But I did not graduate fully and I am not fond of this spice.  Recently, I realized what happens when I eat chilli peppers.

I noticed that when I put chilli peppers  in the mouth (as part of curry! Never I dare to eat it alone), it pricks the tongue at points it comes in contact.  As long as some portions of the tongue are spared, I could manage it. If its in excess, my mouth is on fire. You need water or sugar to cool off.  If my mouth is burning, what do you think might be happening in the food pipe and stomach?  I can sense it in the mouth,  but not many of us are sensitive enough to know what is happening in the stomach and intestines until food gets to the end of  intestines – My A*** is on fire! Paper will not work,  Need water. Menthol water would have been better!

Many people like the pricking of chilli and enjoy it. I am sure they had to go through “the fire at the end of the line” initially before the body got used to it. What I noticed is,  chilli pepper (with food of course!) when ingested,  inhibits saliva generation which is crucial for digestion of the food.  It’s like, touching a hot surface.  When you come in contact with fire, you retract based on how hot the surface – hotter the surface, faster the retraction. It’s  same case with food with chilli pepper – the hotter it is, the faster you try to swallow the food (touch and go). This is not like watching  a movie, where most of the action happens inside the theater and not at the counter. It is like playing a match- though you have to perform in the field, practice and warmup is very important. Chewing is important for digestion!

Over  time, getting used to chilli pepper,  we lose the habit of chewing food and just enjoy the taste and swallow.  This may be affecting the overall digestion process of which mouth is an important portion.  Hope you have seen cows sitting leisurely chewing the food! Our food is cooked but it still needs some chewing.

Black Pepper vs Chilli Pepper

When I added black pepper to my food, it actually generated more saliva (similar to lime or lemon) and I chewed longer and enjoyed food more. Black pepper creates heat but does not prick the tongue as chilli.  My daughter has difficulty eating food with chilli but no issues with black pepper. Children resist chilli in food but we force them to eat until they get used to it and cannot go without! Now don’t say chilli helps with constipation – You cannot use fire to dry a wet cloth, it will burn after some time!

Alternatives!
I am writing it here and dare not tell you in person.  I do not want to risk chilli powder thrown at me!  You can replace it with Paprika or black pepper. Try it out and see.

You could argue that people are using chilli for centuries. Our lifestyle has become more sedentary. May be it does not matter when one’s job is physically very intensive.  Culture is good as a template for us to evolve and grow, but not as an excuse for our compulsions.

 

 

 

Some People Did Something

Ilhan Omar says
“Some people did something,  I was left hungry
Some people did something, I was not safe in my own country
Some people did something, I had to run away from my own country
Some people did something, I had to emigrate to USA with my parents
Some people did something, America is safe for me ( I am told I was not)
Some people did something, I am able to eat 3 meals a day
Some people did something, I am able to attend college
Some people did something, WTC got hit, people died, I am still in America
Some people did something, I am able to stand in elections
Some people did something, I can talk with freedom
Some people did something, but I don’t care”

This is the second time Ilhan Omar has said something to come to limelight.
Whether is was regarding “loyalty to Israel”  or “Some people did something”, she knows what is speaking.  Such words,  created a storm in America and elsewhere.  Some stood for her and some opposed.

Motive: Divide the Opposition
I think, Ilhan Omar’s motive behind these calculated statements is to divide the country.  She does not seem like she is looking for any friends. She is dividing the opposition while she wishes to ride the tide. She is just checking who could make concessions for her and her motive.  People like OAC, Elizabeth Warren and Mr. Sanders are playing into her hands. They are criticizing Trump for his video. All they needed was a clarification from Ilhan Omar about what she meant by some people and something. As far as I know,  I did not see any clarification from her.  This whole narrative of “second rate citizens” is to divide people.  She did not explain in what way they are suffering.  She should explain how a non-muslim is treated in a Muslim majority country and how it correlates to her ordeal in USA.

War but not Real:
We are now a fight over a controversial, vague statement made by a Congress woman. It would have been easier to just sit over a coffee table in a newsroom and sort the matter.  But Trump sounded a war horn and Democrats followed suit.

What Trump did by the video was to improve his rating.  He is trying to wake up his loyal army and add new ones. He should have toned down in his graphics.  Democrats are in haste to criticize Trump and protect Ilhan.  Now Democrats have made an aggressor into a victim. By “Someone did something”, Ilhan might be challenging the established fact about who got the twin towers down, Democrats are behind getting the Trump Tower Down!

Ilhan made it worse by staying silent. In her speech, she may not have liked to name the terrorist action, for whatever reason.  With the backlash,  she should have come forward to clarify immediately so that all this hype is put to rest.

What America has to do is, not to  fight over some statement made by someone.  They should stand together in accepting an apology if she meant to say,  some terrorists did something and Muslims in USA suffered. They should stand together in condemning if she meant “something” else.  This fight not about how America has to be governed,  this statement is about the whole country, which needs to be challenged together not fight over it. Some People please do something!

 

NYAY scheme – Flawed to begin with

Its another election gimmick from Congress party.  After being in power for over 50 years and now they have woke up to do social justice!
Giving Rs 72000 per year to 20% poor people of India, by no means will alleviate poverty.
From being in power for over 50 years, Congress did not learn a thing about poverty. Poverty is not about just lacking money, its also lack of  basic amenities, lack of support from the system, lack of opportunities to participate in economic and social activity.
Only way to alleviate poverty is to make basic needs available to all the people, provide infrastructure, bring business friendly environment, cultivate a sense of nationhood so that everyone can participate in the work force.  That is what Mr. Modi has done for 4 years. made electricity accessible to every house hold, build roads, support startup companies, provide interest free loans to women.

Where will you get this money from? Trump?
If you give money to 20% of  poor people called A.  next year another set B is formed… and this is a endless cycle. no matter how much money you give, few people will be poor compared to others if you gage them in terms of money they possess!
And where are you getting this money from? Will Trump give it? Will EU give it? You only take it from middle class who are already under burden of heavy taxes?

Vetted by Raghuram Rajan!
This scheme is purportedly vetted by former RBI Governor Mr. Raghuram Rajan.
“It has to be a way of creating a platform for them to become regular contributors of the workforce,” The New Indian Express quoted him as saying. Rajan said the scheme, which promises Rs 72,000 per annum to the poorest 20% families of the country, is doable.

I want to ask this great economist on what basis this is could pave way for contribution to workforce? Where on earth did this happen? Giving away free money makes people do no work.  And seeing that more people will follow suit, destroying the whole economy.
Idle people are booze stores’ workshops.  This will lead to more hardships to women.

What about Inflation?
Mr. Rajan did not mention anywhere about the effect of free money on the inflation.  Extra cash leads to higher prices and thus at the end of 5 years, Rs.72000 will only be worth 7000 compared to present value.

I did not expect this from an Economist of his calibre, unless he wants to pay back to Congress for making him RBI governor or for some future favors!

The Realm of God

A middle class woman, Leela, who was agnostic for most of her life was surprised by the “miracle” that happened in the life of her friend Reema, a religious person. Reema was suffering from advanced throat cancer and got cured from her disease. Doctors, who have informed Reema’s son that her cancer metastasized and beyond cure, were shocked seeing she get cured miraculously.  It was the talk of the town and her congregation.  Reema, told everyone how she sat the whole night in prayer and she was healthy next morning.  Lily could not understand how this could happen.  Seeing this firsthand, Lily, became a believer.  She started visiting the congregation regularly and was reading the scriptures every night before going to bed.

She was feeling very happy to have made this choice. One day during fall,  Lily fell sick.  She was very tired but still told her prayers.  Lily did not go to the doctors as she should normally do.  Second day she became more sick. “God will cure it”  she said to herself and was expecting a miracle.  Third day was even worse, she was running a temperature of 102 deg F. “God will lower the temperature”. On the fourth day, Leela could not get up from her bed “God will give me strength to walk”. On the fifth day, Leela gave up and went to the doctor with the help of Reema. Doctor gave antibiotics for the flu and suggested complete rest.  She got cured but all this while she was thinking – “why did God not sure me? Did I not pray enough?”

The next time Leela went to the congregation, she confronted the priest. ” Why did God not cure me from Flu same as Reema’s cancer? I too prayed the whole night. I have been a good believer.” Priest was taken aback by this sudden challenge. He gained his senses back and told her in  a soft voice “Reema’s cancer is internal, so God cured it. Flu is caused by bacteria and virus. Its outside God’s realm. Bacteria and virus do not believe in the same God as us”!

Sadhguru: “Everything in Life is a Miracle”.
https://isha.sadhguru.org/us/en/blog/article/real-life-true-miracle-greatest-stories

Is your milk 100% pure?

In a small town in East Tennessee, there are two main family owned businesses, Joy Milk and Happy Milk, selling milk in a small Tennessee town.  They fought bitterly among each other for the market share. You see bill boards of these two companies across the town.  Joy Milk would show a a beautiful cow laughing  – ” Milk from a joyful Cow – Tasty and full of Joy”.  Happy Milk would say – “Milk from Happy Cow – Whippy and Happy”.

They were looking for new ways to sell more milk.  Joy milk started new campaign saying – ” Milk from grass fed cows”. This causes confusion among the consumers – what are they fed before? what are others feeding – chicken? With this Joy milk sales increased by 10% in a week.

Marketing team at Happy milk is on the hook now. Lot of pressure on them to come up with counter campaign. After a week they launched a new ad – “Our milk has always been from grass fed cows, it pure too.” Sales of Happy milk increased.

The campaign war became more intense as the bosses got restless.  Joy Milk brought about a new campaign – “Start your day with a glass of  Joy Milk- 100% pure!”

Now this has got to the limit! Can something be called pure if it is not 100% what it is expected to be?  Can something which is 50% called pure? Before the percentage business got into advertisement, if something is pure – its implicit to be 100% pure. Not anymore. Its pure only if it is explicitly stated as 100%! When I was small, milk was mainly sold by individuals either owners of a few cows and buffaloes or middlemen. Milk was mixed with water by most. You have to choose between the sellers based on who mixes less and offers cheap!

Both Joy and Happy milk companies have reached to 100% purity in their ads and could not push anymore.  The wise managements knew they could not go with 110%, 200% as it would only lead to larger banners!  After being quite for a few days, Happy milk came up with new campaign – ” 100% pure, rBST free milk!  Now they got into hormone business! To counter this Joy milk released a new ad – “100% pure milk from hormone free, healthy cows”.  This war became more interesting than the actual milk! Many thought this would be the end of it since they covered grass feed, purity, hormones.

Happy milk hired  a costly ad agency from New York. Until now, tussle was local, its going national now.  Within a few days a new colorful ad showed up on the billboards early in the morning before the cows were ready for milking. It showed a smiling cow with Bose headphones saying “Milk from cows listening to best country music – pride of Nashville!”
Joy hired a reputed Ad guru from California. They released  a new ad – “Our cows watch best shows and walk a mile daily” showing a cow before a rock concert with a fitbit attached to the ear!

A local journalist, who was following these ads closely investigated into the source of their milk and published an article in reputed local newspaper – Both Happy and Joy Milk source their milk from same dairy farm – ‘White Gold Farms’ in rural Tennessee.

God vs Sentinelese Tribe

John Allen Chau,  with an  intention to take word of God to North Sentinelese island, home to Sentinelese who, often violently, reject any contact with the outside world, and are among the last uncontacted people to remain virtually untouched by modern civilization. He was killed by an arrow possibly on Nov 17. John broke the rules by bribing the fishermen to take him to the island which is off-limits to outside people by Indian law.

His death raises a few questions in me.  After all, John was not seeking any adventure. He was spreading God’s word but God has deserted him.  Does this mean God was not on the side of John? Did God switch sides for this time?  Or did God lose to godless Sentinelese? Or the God’s words that John carried were truely not God’s words.

This creation of God is so diverse and it is foolish to think people with diverse cultures, beliefs, appearances, customs are not his creation. Every human being on this planet share the same earth, water, air. They are born and dead as all creatures.

The experience of life by an individual is inside him/her and very personal.  The  Sun, Moon, Earth, water and Sky are same for everyone but we experience them through your senses. Similarly, God may be one for all,  but the experience of God, interaction with God are very personal. We may call him with same name as others or with a different name, we have a shape for him/her or is formless, our method of invoking God is same as others or different but God is very personal.  Striving to reach God is individual. No one can take you there, except you. You can take help of an experienced person but you have to make the journey.

The first step to God is respecting other’s choice of path to God. Our path may be the shortest, but may not suit others. They may want to take a longer, less risky path.  If we are in harmony with everyone and everything around us, that is first step to Heaven!

May John’s soul rest in Peace!