Archive for July, 2008

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Sen. Barack Obama’s Speech in Berlin, Germany

July 26, 2008

Below is the link to the speech given on 24th July ’08 by the US Presidential Candidate – Sen. Barack Obama before about 200000 people in Berlin, Germany.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OAhb06Z8N1c
Excerpt: “Partnership and Co-operation among nations is not a choice. It is the only way. The only way to protect our common security and advance our common humanity. That is why the greatest danger of all is to avoid new walls to divide us from one another. The walls between the old allies on the either side of Atlantic, cannot stand. Teh walls between the countries with the most and least, cannot stand. The walls between the races and tribes, natives and immigrants, Christians, Muslims and Jews, cannot stand. These are the walls we must tear down”.

 

Destination Infinity.

PS: An appropriate and thought provoking speech. No wonder, he is the leading candidate for the next US President.

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The Purchase

July 25, 2008

I have posted this one on YouthUnite, where I am a co-author. You could access this post here: (Actually, I don’t know how to link, so giving the full website address below)

http://youthunite.wordpress.com/2008/07/19/the-purchase/

Destination Infinity

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The Truth – Let us accept it.

July 15, 2008

http://youtube.com/watch?v=1lpsGl1oUL0

Raghu was the only son of a rather well-off family. His father was into district administration and money was never a problem. Raghu mostly got what he wanted. Being the only kid in the family, his demands were immediately fulfilled. Seeing a Microsoft X-Box in one of his friend’s house, he was pestering his parents to buy him a Sony Play Station II. He was so impressed by it that he wanted it pretty badly. Not that they didn’t have the money, but his parents wanted to bargain with him. He had to get the first rank in the quarterly examinations to get his Sony Play Station II. That was the deal. He was one among the top ten students in the class, but that was just not enough.

 

Sudha was of the same class as Raghu. Both were studying their fifth standard in a Government Central Board School. But Sudha was from a poor family. She had two elder brothers and one younger sister. Since her fathers income was not enough to manage such a big family, her mother used to help him by selling knitted jasmine flowers near the temple. But during the evening time, the crowd was particularly heavy and hence Sudha would go with her mother. She would do the knitting and her mother would do the selling. This happened from five to eight thirty in the evenings, daily. But this was the time she used to study her lessons – until last year. Her academic performance this year, was predictably lagging.

 

Both Raghu and Sudha had one common passion – Painting. There was a painting competition held in their school in which all the primary classes participated to exhibit their talent. The prize money was sponsored for this event by some trust, but the school didn’t believe in just giving the money to the kids. So, they devised a procedure – The first prize winner would receive fifty rupees per week, on Saturday. They had to go to the nearby post office and deposit the money on the same day and hand over a copy of the receipt to the class teacher. The school deliberately did this to inculcate the habit of savings in the kids. They wanted to create an example with the winner to other kids. But all the money was sponsored only to the first prize winner. And he could take it only after a year of savings in the post office account opened by their school.

 

Raghu thought about the prize money. If he gets the prize, he calculated, how many months would it take for him to buy a Sony Play Station II? The results were not very encouraging. By the time he would be able to save enough money, the model may not even exist. He wanted the Play Station II now.

 

Sudha also thought about the prize money. She was imagining the possibilities. If she was able to get fifty rupees a week, in a year, she could make a huge sum. She had learnt Simple Interest recently. So, when she was informed that they would be offering an interest of 8% a year, she was able to calculate the interest amount too. Wow. That was a lot of money. She was juggling her priorities.

 

There was some thing that Raghu was thinking about – He had already been getting a pocket money of fifty rupees per day (Being in the senior most section of the primary, he had a lot of expenditures). Besides, Saturday evenings were spent happily playing his favorite game – Cricket. He had not missed a single match until then. If he had to collect that fifty rupees every Saturday afternoon, walk to the post office, stand in the queue, make the payment and get the receipt, file it and then go to play, there would not be much time left before the sun comes down. Besides, if he pestered his parents enough, he might still get the Play Station II even if he did not get the first rank. Well 10 was very close to 1, after all!

 

The principal asked him – “Do you accept the terms and procedures for receiving the prize money or do we give it to Sudha, the second prize winner in the painting competition?”

 

It took only two minutes for him to take a decision. “Give it to anyone” he said.

 

Sudha was over-joyed. She would indeed get the money at last! She was thinking about all the possibilities. She would give the entire money to her parents. She would request only one thing in return – To allow her to study in the weekdays instead of knitting jasmines for her mother. She might be able to complete a college degree some day! She was beaming when she told about the whole thing to her parents. Could she stay back and study on the weekdays, she asked.

 

Her father replied to her mother: “See what a bargain she wants to strike. That too at such a young age! That’s why I asked you not to let the girls study. You would never listen. Well, how about this bargain – She’ll give all the money to us after one year and work in the evenings or she’ll not go to the school anymore”

 

It took only two minutes for all her dreams to get completely shattered.

 

 

Destination Infinity.

 

PS: The video at the beginning of the post was made by the colleague of a friend who works for a software company in Bangalore who worked extensively on Saturdays and Sundays with a team of friends to make it. The video even got a mention in “The Hindu”. This is the link to their website: http://www.pukar-dias.com/

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The CEO

July 6, 2008

 

There was a time when Germany was holding most of the patents in the chemical industry. Most of the leading chemical industries were based out of Germany. But there was an empire some where else, which wanted the technology – very badly. This empire was built by manufacturing armaments – Guns, Gunpowder and a lot more. But civilization, they say keeps changing. The armaments industry was no more as profitable as it was before. The empire needed to diversify soon.

 

There was a new recruit in one of the chemical industries in Germany. He was clearly not the average German worker you would find. In fact his German language was highly broken and irregular. But he was able to impress the supervisor. His efficiency and speed impressed many. He was so good that he was promoted twice in the first six months. And six months was the time which he needed to understand a particular chemical process. The process for which scientists had toiled day and night. The process and the patent the company possessed, that enabled the company to refuse re-sale rights to the Empire.

 

In a totally unrelated incident after 150 years, there was an interview in the TV. They interviewed a lot of people in the malls, theatres, parks etc. The question was – “Would you like to become the CEO of a big company and why?”

 

Some of the answers are given below:

 

“Yeah. Why not? I would like to have a lavish lifestyle wear costly watches and suites, drive BMW…….”

 

“Definitely. I could travel in business class. Maybe own my own personal jet……”

 

“Why not? Work hard, play hard, party big time……”

 

“The power. That’s what I like about the CEO position. I have total control over the resources and I can take decisions and implement them as and when I wish. I would have the money, people and the influence. That’s power…..”

 

“Well I have 25 years of Government service behind me. Trust me, this is the best job in the world. Are bhaiyya, CEO ke job mein bahut tension hota hai. Look at me, I am happy, my son Is employed with the Government too and we are totally settled in life…”

 

“Well frankly, it’s a challenge. A small decision you make could have a huge impact on the people working down the line. If I could make an informed decision and if I have the experience, why not?…..”

 

Let us get back once again to the chemical era, 150 years ago.

 

The empire was called Du Pont. It is still called so. The worker who did the entry level jobs in the German Chemical industry for quite some time to obtain the chemical process was none other than the CEO of one of the Du Pont companies in the United States, back then. Of course, they later got the resale rights but this time it was at their price.

 

 

Destination Infinity

 

PS: This is almost a true story (Except the interview part). A bit generalized because I don’t remember the exact names involved.