Thursday, 1 December, 2011

Life's Lessons

The More I fail,
The More I fall,
The More I suffer,
The More I quiver,

The More I realize that..

Talent is useless without Attitude
Strength is useless without Persistence
Power is useless without Compassion
Courage is useless without Wisdom
Failure is useless without Learning
Success is useless without Humility
Life is useless without Purpose

- Arun KK 

Thursday, 17 November, 2011

My Religion

Love is my God
Compassion my Religion
Rationality my Doctrine
Life my Pilgrimage.

- Arun KK

Thursday, 10 November, 2011

Knowledge vs Wisdom

The chemistry teacher walked in to the class; holding a beaker filled with a transparent liquid. He placed the beaker on his desk; pulled his ring from his finger and dropped it into the beaker.

Teacher: Students! I’ve dropped my 99.9% pure KDM gold ring into this solution of hydrochloric acid treated to 300K temperature. Will the ring melt?

First Bencher: No Sir! . Gold (Au) needs an oxidizing agent to dissolve it. To oxidise Gold should be stripped of 3 electrons (Au3+); for which a reduction potential of greater than 1.50V is required. But, Hydrochloric acid (HCl) can provide only H+ ions; H+ ions have a reduction potential of 0.00V. So HCl cannot dissolve gold

Teacher: Any other answers?!

Last Bencher: No! it won’t melt. If it would, you wouldn’t have dropped the ring into the container!

- Inspired by a joke on Adithya TV

Saturday, 29 October, 2011

How to make money with Credit Cards

This is my guest post in The Financial Literates - Click here

The Way we see a problem is the problem

The alarm goes off! 6 AM. It was a crispy Sunday morning. As the morning rays stir the last few dews off their slumber, the pre-dawn chillness was palpable. I started my morning routine - going for a walk to the nearby park encompassing the National Hospital. The lush atmosphere with birds chirping in the trees, pigeons flocking on the grass, morning walkers strolling about as their dogs play catch-games with butterflies and yellow dandelions dancing gaily in the morning breeze – offer a tranquil mood to withdraw into the folds of nature and drown into a few sublime moments of solitude. As I sit on the park benches, I close my eyes and sink into the silent world of contemplation and reminiscence.

Wednesday, 26 October, 2011

5 Steps to Anger Management

Blood is gushing through your veins. Your face is bursting with anger. You feel like thrashing his head against a pillar and dump him in a dustbin like a crumbled foil. Hold on! Not all are meant to become action heroes! Your anger is doing more bad to you than you may do to him. There is a better way to handle this.

Friday, 21 October, 2011

Socrates believed in God - 2

Continued from Part 1

We earlier saw traders brought wealth and knowledge of the outside world into Athens. As trade expanded, Mathematics and Astronomy grew - the increasing complexity of trade influenced Mathematics; and as traders ventured farther into the seas, they studied stars for their guidance; and astronomy grew. The increasing affluence and thereby security, afforded some of them to study these sciences exclusively. What previously were attributed to supernatural causes and magic; were given scientific explanations and reason. As they mastered these sciences, they began to apply knowledge of the stars to understand and solve life’s problems. This was the birth of philosophy.

Thursday, 13 October, 2011

Socrates believed in God - 1

Do you believe it! Socrates was no atheist! All my childhood, i was brought up taught (both in and out of school) that Socrates was a great philosopher who did not believe in God; and now someone tells me that it’s only partly true?! Worse still, he advocated aristocracy; seemingly, he did not have great hopes on democracy!! Socrates?? Aristocracy?!  Really?!?!

I got my hands on a  book on the life and theories of famous philosophers; from Socrates down until the contemporaries. It’s about probing beliefs and behaviors, dogmas and doctrines, and bring out real facts of the lives of people; we’re not educated these as kids, or at least not the way they should have been (intentionally or unintentionally - may be we’re too young to understand them then). This post is pretty much a recap of what i read of the life and times of Socrates, and also capture in general, the mood in Greece in 5th century BC, that begot it great philosophers like Socrates, Plato, Aristotle; and made Greece the great civilization that it was, going on to redefine European history alongside Romans. This particular post will try to paint a picture of how philosophy blossomed in Greece. 

Sunday, 12 June, 2011

Who introduced Outsourcing in India?

Ask this to anyone from the current generation and the fingers would most likely point to N.R. Narayana murthy or one of the IT triumvirates. Anybody with a fair knowledge of recent history and economics would be well aware of the economic liberalization in the 90s and how the IT & BP Outsourcing sector rode on its waves to lead India’s economic resurgence in the 21st century. However, Outsourcing isn't something which entered the Indian lexicon only in the past few decades; the term has had quite a long legacy in India...

Sunday, 5 June, 2011

Sri Lankan Tamils

I'd invited a few friends in Facebook to the Cause - Sri Lanka's war crimes against Tamils. The response had been good; however one of my friends responded with this message: "Arun, I can understand the war crime and we need to have justice. But did you look into the cause behind the war? Was it fair on immigrants to ask for separate country?"

This post is my attempt to put down a few important mile stones of Sri Lankan history. This is not an in-depth study; and should be viewed only as a handy reference. This article in no ways justifies the violence that the struggle has faced; nor does it support LTTE - this is purely a reflection of history. I do not support the cause for a separate nation but only respect every individual's right to live his identity, and the government's accountability towards establishing an equal and equivocal society.
  • Sri Lanka's history is as old as India's - it was a part of Indian land mass until 30,000 years ago.
  • Iron Age relics of Sri Lanka dates back to 1000 BC very close to that of South India (1200 BC) 
  • Sinhalese history started with arrival of Buddhism
  • Sinhalese came to Sri Lanka from Kalinga (modern Orissa and part of Bengal) around 3BC. After Ashoka won over Kalinga (his last war) and as Buddhism spread, Prince Vijaya with his followers sailed to Sri Lanka and established their kingdom there.
  • Mahavamsa (Dammapada) a Buddhist scripture is used as a reference of Sri Lanka history by Sri Lankan govt; hence the bias towards Buddhism and Sinhalese.
  • Sinhalese language is a fusion of Sanskrit, Pali and Tamil
  • During Older Chola period, Elara a Chola king established a Tamil Kingdom around 200 BC and ruled the country for over 40 years.
  • There had been frequent Chola domination in Sri Lanka since then (the Pandyas supported the Singalese in turn)
  • Raja raja Cholan and his son Rajendra Cholan ruled Sri Lanka for close to 100 years until 1070.
  • Tamil Kingdom of Jaffna ruled over North and Central Sri Lanka from 1215 to 1624 after which British took over the whole island.
  • It's true that some Indian Tamils were migrated to Sri Lanka for tea plantation work by the British. However, India took back 5 lakh Tamils back in 1964 (only the plantation workers). Since then, there has been a stereo-casting that all Tamils in Sri Lanka are migrants which is completely contrary to historical facts. Ethnic Tamils lived in the North and Eastern parts of SL, while the immigrants lived in the central hilly terrain.

Every country has its share of ethnic struggles; and it's the government's duty to allay the apprehensions of the minority.

Post independence:
After Sri Lanka got independence in 1948, both Sinhalese and Tamil were declared official languages. English continued to be the language of the administration. Back then, Tamils were generally more educated than the Sinhalese; and hence were occupying most of the administrative positions. This didn't go well with the conservative Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) which was in power since 1952. They replaced Sinhalese as the sole official language; which made thousands of Tamils jobless. Also, stricter rules were set for Tamil students in education; and in government posts; and the struggle started since then. However, this struggle was purely a political movement until the 1970s; demanding equal rights and opportunities within a single country. This led to a moderate Sinhala govt coming to power in 1965; and for the first time since 1956, Tamils got government jobs. The agitated SLFP joined with the Maoists and formed an alliance, the youth wing of which formed a guerilla group in 1971, Janatha Vimukhti Peramuna ( JVP); often resorting to violent measures to further their desire for a conservative, Sinhala based society as against a moderate, pro-Western society. With economy stagnating, the government relented in 1972; and implemented some pro-Left reforms which also included renaming Ceylon to Sri Lanka. A new constitution of incorporated with more powers to the President and the Governing Council. Sinhalese was retained as the official language; while Tamil became a 'national language'. Government then focused on measures to improve the economy and put the ethnic issue to the back burner. Tamils then contributed to 20% of the Sri Lankan population. The ethnic clashes and the Tamil problem turned violent since then...

Culture, language and religion are the unique identity of a civilization; and it's the government's duty to preserve the identity of every such community in the country. The ground reality is when nationalism turns myopic in the realms of politics and ulterior motives, the minorities suffer the most!!

- Arun