I, The Absolute

Archive for March, 2005

I, the absolute

Posted by itheabsolute on March 30, 2005

I firmly believe that much of our life happens between our two ears. Go to sleep; the world vanishes. Open the eyes; there is the entire world to see. Expand knowledge; the world enlarges. Constrain mind with ritual, prejudice, vanity, etc, the world becomes a difficult place. Fall in love; the world becomes a lovelier place. Win something (I) have longed for; the world shows excellent promise. Lose something (I) have; the world is doomed. Go to a place where (I) want to be; world is heaven. Get stuck up in a wrong place; world is hell. When I am the boss, I am the power. When I am the subordinate, power is ugly. When I am a child, I want parents to understand. When I am a parent, I wish children understood me. I see myself in terms of what I can be. Doesn’t matter if others judge me by what I am. I see myself through my eyes; I see others also through my eyes. I remember what I speak, not what others speak.

The world begins when I wake up from sleep. The world shuts when I go to sleep.

I am the absolute; all others relative.

PS: For explanation on the world of sleep/dreams, consult Freud

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Leisure as the cornerstone of knowledge

Posted by itheabsolute on March 29, 2005

I used to wonder how ‘prehistoric man’ found time to build so much of knowledge, practices and customs. He had to go out to hunt everyday to bring home food. There were innumerable risks associated with hunting. Group effort made some difference. But then the number of mouths to feed also increased. There was no way man could have improved if he was just incremental in thinking. He was improving his tools of hunting continuously to improve his strike rate. But the biggest break through for improvement came when man invented refrigeration. Once this was done, man had all the time in the world to orient himself towards knowledge / taste, not just tasks.

Once refrigeration was invented, man could kill hundreds of animals and store the food for months. Earlier he had to hunt for the day and then any remaining food would turn rancid and un-edible. With his invention of refrigeration, man invented new techniques of hunting. The group of hunters used to drive the cattle towards a mountaintop and have the cattle fall from there into the valley. At one go, man managed to kill scores of cattle. Food was secured for months. Refrigeration is then the key to making leisure available to man. Once man didn’t have to work all the time to feed and had free time available, he ventured into various other aspects of life. Totems and tattoos; polygamy and wars; pottery and architecture; painting and science. Leisure thus afforded knowledge.

Come to the modern day world, we have well defined set of people (scientists and the ilk) who are authorized to relieve themselves from physical and unthinking jobs and get involved in invention and innovation, which help build further knowledge.

Knowledge is thus built on the foundation of leisure.

I am now freeing up myself from the job to get leisure to build my knowledge.

PS: Discovery and NG channels have some fantastically educative programs. They also show a lot of crap.

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I am getting there………..

Posted by itheabsolute on March 28, 2005

With just about three weeks left, am mid-way of ‘things to do list’

1. Relieving Date agreed to. Will need to work till very close to the date of my reporting at ISB
2. My replacement has been finalized. This provides relief
3. My existing loans have been taken care. So relieving letter will come in time
4. My education loan application has been sent to SBI. Understand there should be no problem here
5. Started with MBA survival kit. This is a pre-term of pre-term
6. Decided to take pre-term (minus 14k). I am neither a shark nor a poet. I will place myself somewhere in between. As somebody wrote on his blog, your expenses only go up after you come to ISB as you will keep comparing your expenses on a particular item with the overall expenditure and really don’t mind spending that small (?) amount.
7. Rejoined Gym. I found considerable difference in energy levels. Despite burning calories in the gym, find myself left with more of them to work late into the night
8. Started to sit late into the night. Want to get used to it
9. More or less finalized my/our diet for the year to come. Want it to be a good mix of carbs and proteins (avoid fats totally). Since my wife will work during the year, will share the kitchen portfolio with her
10. My blog – decided that it will slowly move into hard skills territory from soft skills territory as I settle down at ISB
11. Will retain my car. Wife needs it.
12. Working on CAS form. Have finalized the “five” firms that I would like to interview with on campus. Will i be able to get placed with one of these? At least, i am quite excited now.
13. Shopping is done. I am sick of formal wear, tie and black shoe. Have splurged on casual wear.
14. Dentist – Done. Went to him ‘just like that’ since I had not gone to a dentist ever. He took his consultation fee for nothing
15. More or less decided my coiffure for the next year (didn’t have much of choice with the receding mane) (hope ISB does not have any bar on trying new hairdos)
16. My household items are more or less sold (Feeling good about going back to starting life afresh)
17. Increased my insurance cover. I am never happy with the amount of my insurance cover
18. Yet to complete medical insurance for me, wife and parents
19. Have asked my brother in law and sister (in the US) to pick up a good camcorder/ digital camera. These should hopefully reach me on time
20. Settlement from employer – Will happen on relieving day. But this will screw up my tax planning for the FY 2005-06
21. General Reading – a lot to cover. Where do i start?
22. Applied for ESOPs. (hopefully, market will pick up by the time i get to sell them)
23. Build database of contacts – in progress

Am i really getting organised as i believed i was? Pre-MBA effects?

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Posted by itheabsolute on March 27, 2005

Mind produces what is fed to it routinely

Daily I feed my mind the following

1. habit of rationalizing prejudices
2. two hours of shit on TV
3. routine in the name of discipline
4. office grapevine / gossip
5. all unimportant news in newspapers (mainly page 3)
6. fear (of failure / of rejection / etc)
7. liking for Inertia
8. greed of money and food

What can I expect my mind to produce?

Garbage In. Garbage out.

PS: The secret of your future is hidden in your daily routine
– A member of Covey Institute

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Fifteen things before I die

Posted by itheabsolute on March 25, 2005

1. Get an MBA degree
2. Travel to at least 10 exotic locations in the world
3. Own a Merc
4. Become CEO of a Bank
5. Write a book
6. Challenge every assumption/prejudice that I have lived with
7. Be healthy and fit
8. Try all types of food
9. Learn to Swim
10. Complete reading a quarter of books from my “to read” list
11. Interview Ramgopal Verma. Understand “how” he thinks
12. Smoke a Cuban Cigar once
13. Contribute directly to poverty alleviation and fund home
for the aged
14. Own a Bungalow
15. _________________


1.Am sick of answering ‘B Sc’ to the question “what is your qualification?”
2.Along with my wife, of course
3.My next car?
4. Will ISB experience take me to entrepreneurship?
5.Topic undecided. But the topic will be something which integrates my
learning from various disciplines ranging from Anthropology to Astronomy
8. A little conservative here. But, had ‘ras malai’ for the first time
today. Hey, I am getting there……
9.Close to being hydrophobic.
12. If I survive the first few puffs
14. Both at Hyderabad and South Mumbai
15. Unmentionable

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Camp Bangalore

Posted by itheabsolute on March 25, 2005


Am in Bangalore today and tom. Bangalore is a great place for pub goers / beer drinkers. Got to know of a word called “Alcohologic”, which means “the absurd logic advanced by a person who is highly influenced by alcohol.

A few examples of Alcohologic

1. It is my birthright to puke. What’s the fuss all about?
2. What is wrong with it? I always drove on the right side.
3. Quite funny. Why are these people moving upside down?
4. Bouncers? They like me very much. Always help me get dumped in my car.
5. Even on my tenth drink, I can tell people correct time. Only issue is my shirt/trousers/shoes always get wet after I tell time. There seems to be some correlation between these two
6. Alcoholiday – Today I took off to booze
7. Work? It is the curse of drinking class (Acknowledgement: Oscar Wilde)


Roads and Buildings are a simple measure of the development of a city. As I drove from airport to a friend’s house, I realised that Bangalore had amongst the worst roads. Cannot imagine how a foreign investor would ever be convinced about investing in Bangalore.

I believe what I wrote in my ISB essay, ethics is not just about “not doing wrong”, it is about “proactively doing right”. Domestic companies have greatly benefited from this city. They have grown thanks to the local talent, subsidized lands and other facilities. MNCs have grown here thanks again to the local talent pool and subsidized facilities. These companies and their promoters made (and still make) millions of dollars. What prevents these people from contributing to making good roads?

Don’t think I will ever want to work or live in this city.


Bangalore used to be called pensioners paradise. I did not see any pensioners; nor is this a paradise. It is bloody as hot as Hyderabad or Chennai. Pollution is equally bothering. Cost of living is extremely high. The traffic sense or civic sense, as it is with other cities, is at its nadir. Added to it, traffic signals and speed breakers at every conceivable corner and post. I forgot. It used to be called. No longer so.

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I live only once

Posted by itheabsolute on March 23, 2005

1. I was not born with riches; nor am i going to die rich. Why this love for money?
2. It is only an accident that I was born in India. Why this love for geography?
3. Do I know or remember the guy who invented a high utility thing such as a pen or a knife. Will the world know or remember me. Why this craving to live beyond the grave?
4. Life has been only worse after I got used to cell fone, car, laptop, etc. Why this fancy for gadgets?
5. As long as I am employable, I will get employment. Then why this fear of organisation?
6. Authority is in acceptance, not execution. Why this obsession for power?
7. All beings born will die. Why this fear of death?
8. Life is about being taste oriented. Why have I become task oriented?
9. I am going to live in the future. Why this love for the past?
10. I am not even living this life to full. Why talk about reincarnation?

I want to do new things. I want to be rid of the love of routine. I want to meet new people. I want to take new challenges. I want to think differently. I want a new life everyday.

I live only once!

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Alpha to Omega – what type are you

Posted by itheabsolute on March 22, 2005

In his book “Brave New World”, Aldous Huxley writes about futuristic society where the “state” takes control of procreation and how through genetic conditioning, the state controls human behavior and maintains order in the society.

In this society, state procreates through artificial incubation. Human beings have sex only for pleasure. State decides that there will be categories of people from alpha to omega. An Alpha is a thinker. His job is to think. To enable him focus only on thinking, he is conditioned through set rules (physical and mental). He comes to a stage where he abhors physical work and loves thinking. An Omega is a physical worker. He is again conditioned. He hates any mental activity; loves physical work. What is good about this process is that an alpha is happy that he is an alpha, not anybody else. A beta is happy that he is not an alpha or an omega. An omega is happy that he is an omega and that he is spared of doing meaningless mental activity.

Despite my low-income background, I have never once wished that it would have been good had I been born in a richer family. Despite the fame and money that I could earn, I will never trade myself for a Sachin’s or a Sharukh’s life in return. I am sure many people would like to be born as themselves if there is a chance to be born again. Despite odds that ordinary women face (not all of them), many women will prefer to be born as women again. We know that there is no organised / sophisticated conditioning (like how it happens in brave new world) happening with us. Two reasons perhaps explain why people prefer to be themselves: Self-love and social reasons.

It is good to introspect and know which type we are. How much of physical activity do I like? How much of mental activity do I like? What level of mental activity? Am I a knowledge type or an imagination type? There is nothing good or bad about being an alpha as there is nothing wrong or right about being a beta or an omega. You are a particular type. Period.

Post Scriptum:

However, I also understand that there are many people who have suffered misery and who are still suffering. They would prefer to be born as someone else rich, beautiful, educated, intelligent, etc. Are there solutions in the world to help them? Conditioning is definitely not one. Can management education give us some clues?

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The Power of Consumption, Positive Attitude, Visa Denial, Free Food and Chennai

Posted by itheabsolute on March 21, 2005

1. Where does the US derive so much of power from? Military might. Perhaps. Economic power. Bull’s eye. How? The US consumes maximum amount of world produce. All goods/services producing countries are dependent on the US to sell their products. If the US puts a ban on a country’s exports of goods or services, anyone can imagine what would happen to that country. Its currency may become weak or be made weak; its economy could be under recession or inflation; but, the US will remain powerful as long as it remains the largest consumer. The assumption that China would become powerful by merely producing maximum amount of goods or services is incorrect.

2. Was in Chennai during the day. Had discussions with boss on next year business numbers. Thanks to various factors, things have not been hunky dory this year. What is in store next year? I will not be around. Replacement is more or less finalized. Boss wanted doubling of budget numbers. How to achieve them considering that the GDP or market size is not going to double. Boss has a few simple solutions. Prima facie, they may look simplistic, but not so when one thinks deep. Positive Attitude, Can do Approach, Removing existing mental blocks & Passion will work solutions. Assuming that one has a modicum of intelligence and skills necessary to perform the job. Our entire three hours of discussions centered on these attributes, how they could help and a few live examples. Self-fulfilling prophecy: It is said that that when you repeatedly want something to happen, you will work towards that something (though mostly un- / sub -consciously). Many experiments have been done to prove or disprove this point. It appears that it happens. Hence my boss’s insistence on positive/can do attitude. Unless we believe that we are going to do and achieve the number (or for that matter anything) it is very unlikely that we would achieve it. (More on self-fulfilling prophecy and how it would affect our ISB performance, later)

3. India is our country. We should retain the right to allow or not permit someone into the country. Let the US decide who can enter its land or not. Denial of visa to someone famous does not mean the US has been mean to us. Look around what the country has done to thousands of Indians who have migrated to the country.

4. Don’t know why, but I cannot resist the temptation of eating the food served on flights. The food served on flights could be bought for at worst INR 200. And I know that the cost of food is included in the cost of my ticket. Then why is my penchant for this food (though I am not a great lover of food per se). Perhaps, because it comes free (?).

5. If I have to point one important reason why Chennai’s economy is far superior to Hyderabad’s I will point to the fact that Chennai has manufacturing facilities set up by Ford, HM and Hyundai around Chennai. Other reasons include: Port City, erstwhile British City, Amma’s rule, Tamil cinema industry.

PS: I am not willing or eager to eat all that comes free though.

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Unrelated Factoids / Thoughts – Part III

Posted by itheabsolute on March 20, 2005

1. Is the achievement of “individualism-democracy-capitalism” the end of history as proposed by Francis Fukayama?
2. How long will it take before The Times of India or The Economic Times start publishing gratuitous and seductive photographs without the excuse of budget or some news item?
3. Do Sex and Sharukh Khan only sell?
4. I woke up one morning and found myself famous – Lord Byron
5. Will denim ever go out of fashion?
6. Equality is a myth
7. Equity, however, is a desirable goal
8. Goals are dreams with target dates
9. Will Aishwarya marry Vivek Oberoi?
10. Wasn’t Salman better?
11. History is a perception of the past
12. The starting point of History are facts
13. The starting point of Mathematics, however, is an assumption
14. Will Modi go to the US if his Visa is approved?
15. I do not believe in belief – EM Forster
16. Continual uncertainty leads to mysticism
17. Uncertainty in the world emerges out of (our ignorance of) the intentions of others – Game Theory
18. Floccinaucinihilipilification (the act of estimating as worthless) –is officially the longest word in English
19. The word Set, not like, has the maximum definitions
20. Sting TV: Formerly called “India TV”
21. Time is not just relative to Space. It is relative to our context. If I am waiting, time expands. If I am busy, time shrinks

PS: I had reported in an earlier blog that ‘like’ has the maximum number of meanings. Error regretted. Thanks due to Bharani for pointing out

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