That Leadership Journey – What Do You Stand For?

A few days before Hillary Clinton announced her decision to stand for the post of President of the USA, The Economist ran an interesting cover on her.

They posited the question- what does Hillary Clinton really stand for?

So, my question to my American friends is – do you know what she really stands for?

Years back, when Obama was making his fine speeches about change, and happily receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, the one question that I kep asking was – what does he stand for?

Post the Nobel Peace Prize, he seems to have authorised more attacks than any previous President. Peaceful chap!

Back home, our ex-Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh must have asked himself the same question. He was, by all public accounts, the architect of India’s economic reforms in 1991. There are people who believe that he got the credit, but the real inspiration was the then Prime Minister- Narshima Rao. Mammohan Singh allowed himself to be bullied by the head of the Congress Party – Sonia Gandhi – for the ten years that he was Prime Minister. During this time, he presided over what must be the most corrupt government we have seen since we became an independent nation in 1947. 

What did he really stand for?

These days, we have Narender Modi. He was castigated for his allged role in Hindu-Muslim riots in 2002. He was denied a US Visa for many years. He did get one as soon as he became the Prime Minister. The US Government forgot (very quickly) their earlier objections to him. 

He came in on the back of his humble background, his talk of economic reforms, and the general disgust with the Congress. Since then, he has spoken a lot about revving up the Indian growth engine, cleaning India (the roads and the corrupt practices), wooed world leaders, and restated inflation figures to bump up GDP growth figures.

On the ground, women are still being raped. Rubbish is still being dumped on the streets. People drive the wrong way. The backing party (the RSS) has forced Sanskrit down the throats of school kids mid-term and cancelled their German classes. They have also been on a campaign to convert Christians (and Muslims) to Hinduism to make up for sins committed by these communities 400 years ago. They want to declare the cow to be the National Mother, only to allow her to eat plastic garbage on the streets. 

What does indeed Narender Modi stand for?

There are those who believe taht people get the leaders they deserve. If so, what do we stand for?

In these days of social media, these days where the rush that power brings to us makes us feel like Gods; it is quite possible that what these people really stand for is just a naked rush for power. 

I think that, at that level, it is not about doing what is right for the rest of the world. That is stuff that is meant for the media scribes. 

What they stand for, really, in my humble opinion, is lust.

Any thoughts on this?

Black Nib Writing

Black Nib Writing

Black Nib Writing

What you see above there is some of my scrawl, and my six fountain pens. I love fountain pens. They are sensuous. I actually want to buy more.

Anyhow, I do like to write and I do like the writing, not just to flow, but not to be constrained by topic. There are two, however, that I have not updated for a while. These are “The Shah Of Blah”, and “The Journey To Hell”. I realised that I may end up being repetitious and boring with both, and so I downloaded a programme called “Scrivener”. These two will first be written on Scrivener, and then will go onto the blog. It does not mean that they will become boring. They will just be organised a bit.

I think I may do something similar for “The Magic Frame”.

There is one genre of writing that I quite enjoy, but have never allowed myself to really give full reign to, and this is the genre of Dark Writing. This is what inspired the moniker “Black Nib Writing”. I did start a blog called LokiSpeakz, but have not updated it. For those curious, LokiSpeakz is the chap below.

Loki-TheMan

You may even say that he is my alter ego. I have considered a tattoo of LokiSpeakz on my shoulder, and am tossing between him and Pan. My son objects strongly. Still, one day….

My darker stuff is generally confined to the older form of pen (fountain pen) on paper. This, I like.

My fantasy stuff is being edited. I don’t know how good it is. This is “The Saga of Percival: The Mrodic Wars”. Anyway, I had fun writing it, and intend to push this onto an unsuspecting public on Kindle.

Writing, like photography, has become an increasingly important form of expression for me, and I like to explore new territory as much as possible in both fields. This is one reason why this blog is not purely a writing blog, nor a photography blog. For me, they complement each other. They each form stories, but there are times when they add something extra, a little sparkle, to the story that each tells.

Of course, there are other issues that I write about – issues that concern me. These include issues like the environment, paganism, hunger, leadership, and general stupidity.

I shall write as long as it is fun, and as long as I am not turning into an old fart who cannot smell his own fart and assumes that it smells like perfume.

So there you have it, ladies and gents, a short view on what I call “Black Nib Writing”.

#Yarmouk Refugee Camp

Originally posted on Lex Solo's Political Rantings:

This post is not going to be long. It`ll be short very short. For it is on a topic I cannot find words to write upon. I myself feel guilty, I remained oblivious to this all this time, only when the media showed a few glimpses of what life is inside Yarmouk refugee camp, did I realise that this world is burning all because of the silence of few good people.

Yarmouk Refugee Camp was established in Syria in 1950`s when Palestinians were cast off from their lands after the creation of the state of Israel. Since then the refugee camp turned into a densely populated town. After the Syrian civil war started, the rebels took control of this town and this led towards the siege of Yarmouk camp by Asaads forces. Since then the camp has been under a severe siege, there is no water, no electricity, no food…

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Driving. India. BRTs in Delhi

BRT.  A Cartoon

BRT. A Cartoon

Some countries have institutions to protect animal rights. They believe that animals have as much right to this planet as we have. They do a lot to protect animals and their territories.

However, I have to say to all you snobbish people out there, that no country does as much for animal rights as we do in India.

We even share the city roads with them.

In Delhi, they tried an experiment to have a dedicated corridor for buses that they called the “BRT” or Bus Rapid Transport.

However, despite the one billion brilliant brains that we have in the country, traffic management is not own of our strengths.

We just don’t know how to go about this. After many years and millions of dollars of expenditure, after many years of drivers going into states of dementia (because they don’t know where to drive), they decided to give up the experiment.

We are a thrifty nation. Our new government in Delhi realised that it would cost a few million dollars to dismantle the structure. So, they did budget for this. However, they decided to save this budgeted expense and save the public’s money for themselves.

What did I say about the many brilliant minds we have.

They decided to retain the “BRT” moniker, and now it is just called “Buffalo Rapid Transit”, as has been so brilliantly captured by the cartoonist of the Times of India.

Do you care as much for your cows  and buffaloes as we do?

Will you be willing to share your city roads with them?

If your answer is yes, then you must be an Indian in disguise, or temperament.

 

Blather, Money & Why I Am Against Indian Cricket

For those of you who do not know of the glorious game of cricket, all I can say at this point, is that it is a wee bit complicated to explain. 

Let’s just say that there are 4 versions of the game, in the sense of the duration of one match. 

There is the Test Match, where each game stretches on for 5 days. These can be exciting matches, and to be a good Test captain, you have to be an attacking captain. 

There is the 3 day version, which is used in domestic matches.

There is the 1 day version, and there is the 3 hour version. In the 3 hour version, to be a successsful captain, you have to be a defensive captain. But, this is not the time or place to start to discuss this. 

Sometime around now, the Indian Premier League is being kicked off. This is a tournament where the 3 hour version of the game is played. Film stars own teams, as do some corporates. Players go for a million dollars or more. The opening ceremony is a glittering affair that costs a few million dollars. 

In the state of Haryana, a 15 year old girl won the state boxing championship in her weight category, and does not have the money to go to school. She is forced to work as a maid, sweeping the floor and doing all sorts of odd jobs. 

While I was in the gym (and, I have finally returned to the gym after a 6 month layoff), I was watching the news channel, where the newscaster was interviewing a senior official of the Indian Boxing Federation. You could only see the man’s head and neck, but by the way the folds of his skin fell over his tie, I could make out he is a very well fed man. I doubt he knows what a boxing glove looks like. 

When the newscaster asked him what the Federation would do to support the girl, he blathered on and on about how the state government had to support the girl, and not the Federation. However, “in times to come”, they would try and see what could be done.

This is pure blather and drivel, and all of us can see this.  The man really does not give a shit about the girl. All that he cares about is how much money he can siphon off from the Federation. 

The Indian cricket team is a rather mediocre team, where players are payed millions of dollars, and schmooze with the film stars. Retired icons (like our batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar) who have millions then try and get free land in Institutes of Technology to set up cricket academies. 

If you wonder why Indian sports has not picked up, and why we do not win Olympic medals despite having a billion plus people, look no further. 

When a mediocre cricket team is filled with players who are paid millions, despite their general non performance, why would they bother?

Is this a parable of our times? I wonder. I do wonder.

Why I Am Not A Management Writer

It has been some time since I havee put podgy finger to keyboard, but better late than never, I suppose. 

As some of you may remember, I have been in the corporate world for over 25 years. Correction – I was in the corporate world for over 25 years. During that time, I did read management books, the HBR and the McKinsey Quarterly and magazines of that ilk. 

A colleage of mine quit the corporate world, and became a professor. He is now teaching in Australia. When he read some of my earlier blog posts on leadership, he sniffed and told me that they were not scholarly enough, and would not be taken seriously in the management/ academic world. There was not enough research in them. There was too much story telling, and I did not postulate theories, refute some, or support others. 

In short, I would never make it as a management writer. 

His words got Esmerelda a bit pissed, and she started to rattle her web in my brain. Esmerelda is the spider who resides in my brain, and makes me write all this weird stuff that I sometimes write. 

I have always believed that people essentially love conversations and stories. They learn a lot from them. I do research on the stuff that I  write, but I prefer to try and add some spice to the subject matter. 

I also must confess that when I read management books and articles, I start to feel drowsy, and so I generally read them at night to ensure I get a good night’s sleep. No tossing and turning after i read some of the stuff that is published. 

Similarly, I attend management conferences essentially to meet people during the coffee / tead and lunch breaks. Most speakers dish out the same tired jokes that they dished out ten years ago, and present stuff that their secretary has preparerd for them. 

Management books do serve a purpose – to communicate some of the best practices that prevail in various parts of the world. Yet, they are so damned boring. Oh my (non-existent) God! They are so boring and pedanitic. 

So, I ook my friend’s feedback to heart, thanked him, and allowed Esmerelda to get on with her work of making me write all the weird shit that I do.

I am happier this way, and so (I am sure),is he…

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