Passing Out.

In a recent exchange of messages in our Senior Citizens group, two long lost classmates from our National Defence Academy tried to place each other by asking when each had passed out. They obviously meant this kind of passing out where the ritual of throwing a cadet is normal. This is from one of our Officers’ Training Academies.

It is also quite common to ask fellow alumni in our Business School Alumni meeting to ask each other as to when one passed out.

If I am around and I get a word in, I inevitably ask “how and when did you revive?”

For me, this is what is meant by passing out:
My mind keeps asking why people cannot use the word graduating instead of passing out. I think that it is more appropriate. What do you, my dear reader, think?

Unplugged.

This topic was very likely to have been chosen after reading this WhatsApp forward.
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My tryst with unplugging started in the good old days of car batteries overcharging and being advised to unplug the battery from the alternator. I did not connect to the modern usage of the term as defined below.

This is a different ballgame altogether and something that needs a different approach to one’s daily life without any electronic gadgets. Can you imagine such living?

I have a lot of experience unplugging during the pre mobile phone phenomenon.  I used to regularly attend ten day meditation camps where contact with the outside world was completely denied and have benefitted immensely from those retreats.  I doubt very much that I will be able to attend one of them now, having settled into a different life style completely.

I know some people who live without modern electronic gadgets and who seem to be blissful in their lives. I do envy them their bliss. I can’t however dream of being without my mobile phone handset and computer with an internet connection, particularly now in the lockdown sans newspapers and crossword puzzles. It is also very comforting to see that all my contacts on the  also are using them to avoid climbing walls I suppose.

Having now taken a fresh look at the phenomenon and the message right on top of this post, perhaps, after the lockdown is lifted and some semblance of sanity is returned to our lives, I should give unplugging a shot to see if I will survive such an experience. When and if I do, I shall certainly make it a point to post my experience about that in this blog.

This is my take on this week’s Friday 5 On 1 blog post topic. The other four bloggers who write on the same topic every Friday are Sanjana, PadmumShackman and Conrad.  This week’s topic was suggested by Padmum. Please do go over to their respective blogs to see what they have to say on the topic. Thank you.

Over Confidence.

I have come across some really stupid over confident people in my life as I am sure that most of my readers have too. Over confidence almost always ends up in disasters except on the very rare occasion. I would call myself a confident person not given to taking big risks. I have somehow avoided being overconfident except on very few occasions, three of which I shall discuss in detail here. One almost ended in disaster and two did not.

The first occasion was when I decided that it was no big deal to drive a left hand drive car. (For my American friends, in India we drive on the left side of the road and use right hand drive vehicles.). I almost killed myself and a few others by not having practiced in a traffic less field like I did while learning to drive in a right hand drive car in the first place. That memory still haunts me now and then. That memory also put paid to my hiring cars to drive myself around in Europe and the USA instead undergoing quite some inconvenience using cabs and other public transport vehicles.

The second occasion was when I proposed marriage to U, my friend of eight years. She was my best friend’s sister and her friends were my friends as were mine hers. We did a lot of things together and were very comfortable with each other’s company. I was undergoing internship as a Management Trainee and my employment was not a confirmed one but, on one occasion, something came over me and I suggested that since we were so comfortable with each other, that we should get married. U took a few days to think over the proposal while I went off on a sales tour but, on my return she confirmed that we can and we took a leap of faith into unknown territory for both of us. The marriage had its ups and downs like I suppose all marriages do but, overall, it was a good marriage that lasted all of forty years. So that overconfidence paid off.

The third occasion was when at the peak of a successful career I decided to take a plunge into a new career path and quit an employer after 23 years. Many of my colleagues of that employer who are still in touch with me still cannot understand my, what they call, rashness. I left a large multinational company to work with a small family run company on a short term contract. I knew the family well and that made the decision making fairly simple. My late wife who featured in the last paragraph, supported me on my decision and went through all the ‘butterflies in the stomach’ stages with me in the initial stages. In the end it paid off and I was able to retire comfortably at an age that would not have been possible had I continued in the big firm.

This is my take on this week’s Friday 5 On 1 blog post topic. The other four bloggers who write on the same topic every Friday are Sanjana, PadmumShackman and Conrad.  This week’s topic was suggested by Shackman. Please do go over to their respective blogs to see what they have to say on the topic. Thank you.

Wholesomeness And Hope.

Wholesomeness is defined as the “quality of being wholesome ( healthy or good for you)

I submit that if one is wholesome, where is the need for hope? Theoretically, one is already fulfilled!

On the other hand, one can always hope for wholesomeness!

This is my take on this week’s Friday 5 On 1 blog post topic. The other four bloggers who write on the same topic every Friday are Sanjana, PadmumShackman and Conrad.  This week’s topic was suggested by Sanjana. Please do go over to their respective blogs to see what they have to say on the topic. Thank you.

Emotional Investment.

There is a field in finance called emotional investing which means using feelings rather than logic in making investment decisions. I will briefly talk about it later, but I would like to focus more on the psychological emotional investment which is – “Emotional ‘investment’ in a subject is the degree to which emotions are evoked when the subject is encountered. Things in which we can invest include: Relationships with others. Ideas and ideologies.”

Viktor Frankl in his best seller Man’s Search For meaning talks about two instances of emotional investment which end up in tragedy. The first is of a man who gets a dream where he hears that he will be free from the concentration camp by the end of the month and perks up. When there is no sign of freedom at the end of the month, he dies. Similarly, other inmates imagine that Christmas will bring about their freedom and before the new year they will be free. They too die of disappointment.

On the other hand, Frankl observing such behaviour keeps his hopes alive with the single thought that he will one day write a book about his experiences and that one thought keeps him going till his release.

What better examples for emotional investment in ideas that can lead either to negative or positive results?

In the Indian system of Personality Analysis, there are three traits in all human beings called, Satvaguna, Rajoguna and tamoguna. All of us have all three in us except that the degree to which they predominate differs from individual to individual. I flatter myself that I am the Satvik type.

Some years ago, I had an opportunity to undergo the Myers Briggs personality analysis and I was given this analysis about my personality type:

Extraverted Sensing Thinking Judging

• Realistic, outgoing, systematic, dependable
• Dignified, strong-willed, and principled
• Extremely loyal to family, community, and country
• Great strategist and outstanding “game” player
• Respects tradition and order
• Highly ethical, hardworking, dedicated, and honest
• Lives in the observable “real world” and focuses on what is practical
• Extremely organized with difficulty dealing with uncertainties
• Responsible and would rather plan before acting.

In the Indian system of personality analysis, I flatter myself that I fall into the Satvic type.

My Yogic analysis and the MB analysis gel well and I can say that I am a well adjusted personality with just enough emotional investment in what matters and not greatly involved in the negative aspects of such investments.

Now, coming to the financial emotional investment aspect of this topic, I had made some foolish investments based on emotion rather than logic and lost a packet in the bargain. For instance, in a horse race, I bet on a horse named after my late wife and that horse came last! Similarly I invested in an IPO of a company named after a favourite deity and that company went into liquidation in just three years. After that experience, I have withdrawn from all kinds of financial speculative activities and now live a comfortable if somewhat placid life.

This is my take on this week’s Friday 5 On 1 blog post topic. The other four bloggers who write on the same topic every Friday are Sanjana, PadmumShackman and Conrad.  This week’s topic was suggested by Padmum. Please do go over to their respective blogs to see what they have to say on the topic. Thank you.

Individuality And The Common Good.

This is the Advaita approach to the “other”. I am named after this sage and had been taken to him as an infant to get his blessings.

The oneness of existence is the core of the Indian philosophy.

Unfortunately, human beings have gone astray in their thinking and we have landed up in the Tragedy Of The Commons.

I have no solutions to the problem and if and when I am asked, I refer them to Advaita philosophy.

This is my take on this week’s Friday 5 On 1 blog post topic. The other four bloggers who write on the same topic every Friday are Sanjana, Padmum and Shackman and Conrad.  This week’s topic was suggested by Conrad. Please do go over to their respective blogs to see what they have to say on the topic. Thank you.